Frank Lampard plans to keep Billy Gilmour at Chelsea beyond January, but the door is still open for a potential move away this month.
Gilmour produced a quiet but outstanding performance in midfield in their 3-1 win against Luton Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
He was given his chance to start in central midfield alongside Mason Mount following the absence of N'Golo Kante, and was selected ahead of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
The 19-year-old has been linked with a possible move away this month on loan to collect guaranteed minutes, ahead of the European Championships with Scotland this year.
But Lampard says the plan is currently for Gilmour to stay with the Blues, however the door is being left open until the end of the month.
"Playing like he did today is making it very difficult [not to give him more minutes] because I thought he was outstanding," said Lampard, as quoted by football.london.
"His comfort on the ball, the way he moved it, his discipline, his personality was great. If he plays like he does today, it makes it very difficult for me not to give him a run.
"He trains that way too.
"With his youth and the injury he had, and with the difficult run we’ve been on in the last month, it’s been a case of me finding the right time to get Billy in. Today felt like the right time and he was brilliant.
"In the short term for me, looking at things today, he won’t be going out on loan. Of course, we’ll keep that slightly open until the end of the month but Billy is a Chelsea player and the level he showed today highlights why he is a Chelsea player in the middle of the park."