Billy Gilmour talks midfield inspirations, failing to pick up the hint from Frank Lampard and his latest terrace chant…
It has been quite the fortnight for young Billy Gilmour. Even though the Scottish teenager doesn’t turn 19 for another three months, he has illuminated our past two games in the FA Cup and Premier League, earning rave reviews for his technical quality and maturity beyond his years.
However, it was back in August when the former Rangers midfielder actually made his Chelsea debut, coming off the bench for the final six minutes of our league draw with Sheffield United.
Despite being included in the squad and receiving a not-so-subtle hint from his boss Frank Lampard, Gilmour has admitted he didn’t see the opportunity coming in the slightest.
‘I never expected it at all,’ he told the BBC’s MOTDx programme of his early debut. ‘I thought I was going to be with the Under-23s all season but then I went on pre-season with the first team and did really well.
‘I came back and was training with them a lot and then the gaffer put me in the squad for Sheffield United. I was buzzing obviously. He asked if my family were coming down, which they were, and he said right that’s good but I never took the hint!’
Gilmour also discussed his playing style and revealed the Barcelona idol he looked up to as a youngster growing up in the Scottish capital.
‘Midfield-wise, it was always [Andres] Iniesta,’ he said. ‘I just loved the way he played. Every time he got the ball, just passing it.
‘I like to get on the ball as well, drop deep a lot and create play. I’ve always been told growing up that I’ve got to run, work hard and then technically everything else comes into place.’
The 18-year-old has become an instant fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, with the Chelsea faithful singing his name in recognition of recent impressive performances.
One song compares him to Barcelona’s former Spanish midfield maestro - ‘You know I’ve never seen a player like Billy Gilmour. He’s the Scottish Iniesta and he’s five foot four’, to the tune of Edwyn Collins' 1994 hit A Girl Like You – but Billy is quick to remind people that he’s a little bit taller than that.
‘I’m not sure I’m having that – I’m five foot seven!’ was his response.
You can watch the full MOTDx interview on the BBC iPlayer.