Chelsea wonderkid Billy Gilmour hailed as Scotland’s best prospect in ‘decades’, says Barry Ferguson

Chelsea wonderkid Billy Gilmour hailed as Scotland’s best prospect in ‘decades’, says Barry Ferguson

Billy Gilmour may have only made his first senior start for Chelsea this week but Barry Ferguson feels he should be fast-tracked into the Scotland side.

The 18-year-old midfielder is already receiving rave reviews after being handed his debut by Frank Lampard.

Billy Gilmour joined Chelsea in 2017

Getty Images – Getty

Billy Gilmour joined Chelsea in 2017

He was brought on as a substitute against Sheffield United in the Premier League and then played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 7-1 Carabao Cup win over Grimsby.

Gilmour was in the Rangers academy system before being sold to Chelsea two years ago.

Former Rangers and Scotland international Ferguson is convinced he will play at the highest level.

Ferguson told the Daily Record: “There’s something special about Billy Gilmour. Something very different from the rest.

“I am absolutely convinced this kid is 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 come.

“To put it simply, we haven’t produced a player 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.

Billy Gilmour made his full debut against Grimsby

Getty Images – Getty

Billy Gilmour made his full debut against Grimsby

“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 is no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to go as far in the game as he want 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 is 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 player.”


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Gilmour was set for a bright future at Rangers and was even invited to train with the first team when he was just 15 by then manager Mark Warburton.

But Chelsea made an approach and he joined the London club in 2017 for an initial development fee of £500,000.

Ferguson even drew comparisons to Scottish sporting icon Andy Murray and urged Scotland manager Steve Clarke to consider calling him up for the senior squad despite the lack of first team experience.

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He added: “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 player 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.”