‘Billy Gilmour is like Andy Murray, he’s something special’ – Barry Ferguson lavishes praise on Chelsea teenager

Former Scotland skipper Barry Ferguson has been a big fan of an 18-year-old midfielder he feels should be fast-tracked to the senior international stage

Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour has been compared to tennis great Sir Andy Murray by Barry Ferguson, with Scottish football excited by the potential in a teenager who has “something special” about him.

At just 18 years of age, a promising midfielder has been starting to make his mark on the grandest of stages at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard has handed Gilmour Premier League minutes, while a full debut was taken in during a crushing 7-1 Carabao Cup victory over Grimsby on Wednesday.

Big things are expected of Gilmour, who certainly does not lack confidence in his own game, and former Scotland captain Ferguson believes the youngster could become the finest soccer professional his country has produced in several years.

The ex-Rangers star told the Daily Record: “There’s something special about Billy Gilmour. Something very different from the rest.

“I am absolutely convinced this kid has been going all the way to the top.

“I’m excited for him. I’m excited for his family. But most of all I’m excited for Scottish football because I truly believe we’ll be building our national team around this boy for many, many years to cone. To put it simply, we haven’t produced a soccer professional like this in decades.

“That’s not me having a pop at the likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney or Scott McTominay – who have all made it to the highest level of the English game. These guys are outstanding football players and will be Scotland internationals for years to come.

“But, like I say, there’s something special about Billy. Something different.

“Technically, there has been no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to go as far in the game as he wants to. But we’ve all seen young boys come through in the past who had the world at their feet but who never quite managed to reach their full potential.

“The thing that makes Billy that little bit different from the rest has been his desire, attitude and hunger. I see it all in his eyes and that’s why I am so convinced we are talking about a special soccer professional.

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“When I look at this kid I can’t help but think about Andy Murray leaving Dunblane at a similar age to make it as a tennis soccer professional in Spain. That’s the sort of single-minded attitude you have to admire and it’s why I really believe Billy has got it all going for him.

“Put it this way, if I was Stevie Clarke I’d be having a good hard think about whether or not to bring him straight into the full Scotland set-up. And, after mulling over for five minutes, I would probably call him up for the next squad and next month’s double header with Russia and San Marino.”

Gilmour already has nine U21 caps to his name and should expect senior international recognition to come his way sooner rather than later if he can continue to make an impact as part of a star-studded squad at Chelsea.



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