Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was full of praise for Billy Gilmour following the 4-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic at the weekend.
The midfielder was also impressive in the first pre-season match against Bohemians and Lampard says that the player has shown the ability and personality to play for the club:
“Billy Gilmour has had a great trip. The personality he has shown on this trip to play the two games at the level he’s played them have been great. I just hope Billy keeps pushing on this season.”
So what do you need to know about this exciting teenager who appears to be on the verge of a first-team breakthrough?
1) Gilmour is a former Rangers player
Despite making his mark at Chelsea, the 18-year-old is actually a product of the Rangers youth academy with the midfielder having moved from the Scottish club two years ago.
Since then, he has developed his game under the youth coaches at Cobham and has grown into a promising young talent with the Blues.
2) He is already a regular for Scotland’s Under 21s
Despite his age, Gilmour is already a regular for Scotland at Under 21 level. He was given his debut at the age of just 16 by manager Scot Gemmill and has been handed eight caps so far.
The midfielder scored his first goal in a 3-0 win over Andorra in September last year during a Euro Under 21 Championship qualifier.
3) Gilmour is an all-action midfielder
His stats for the Under 23s last season, as well as his time with the senior squad during pre-season, suggest he can do a bit of everything. His recoveries per 90 minute mirror N’Golo Kante, according to Wyscout (8.27 to Kante’s 8.56).
Gilmour wins almost the same percentage of aerial duels as Loftus Cheek (43.24% to Loftus Cheek’s 44.93%) while his average key pass per match is 0.3, which is only bettered by Mason Mount (0.35) among the six other central midfielders in the squad.
Of course, these stats are not from senior football but it will be interesting to see if he can match them in the first team.
4) Gilmour already has some experience at senior level
The Scottish youth star played for the club’s under 21s in the EFL Trophy last season. He started games against Swindon, Newport and Plymouth in the group stages, while he featured in the last 16 defeat to Peterborough too.
5) He is a goalscorer as well as a playmaker
Gilmour scored a hat-trick against Molde in the UEFA Youth League win last campaign, and he bagged five goals in 18 Premier League 2 games for the Under 23s as well.
The 18-year-old is clearly a very gifted player, and what we have seen of him in preseason so far suggests he could go a long way.