Imagine being 19 years of age and having a Champions League winner’s medal hanging on your bedroom wall.
I mean, when we say that we’re picturing Billy Gilmour stuffed into the back bedroom of his mum’s house playing on his Xbox – which we’re sure isn’t the case – because that’s what you expect a teenager to be doing.
Billy Gilmour isn’t your average teenager.
The Scotsman is becoming a growing influence on the Blues’ matchday squad and ahead of his major international tournament debut this summer, 90min has taken a closer look at the European champion.
It’s testament to Gilmour’s quality that he hasn’t spent the majority of his early years in the professional game playing in the lower leagues. Chelsea clearly know the youngster already has the maturity and the nous to cut it at the top level and, despite first-team opportunities being limited, he’s impressed when he’s been thrown into the mix.
Having missed the opening few months of the season with a knee injury, Gilmour battled back to full fitness and was included in more Premier League matchday squads than he missed out on.
He had to wait until May to be handed his first league start of the season, though his inclusion in the starting XI at home to Fulham was the first of three consecutive starts in the league.
The bulk of his appearances this season have come in domestic cup competitions and, given his impressive showings when given the chance, he deserves more regular football next season either at Chelsea or out on loan elsewhere.
Gilmour’s combative style of play lends itself to a place in front of the back four, though the Scotsman has proved time and time again that he’s got the ability with the ball at his feet to play slightly further forward.
One of the most underrated facets of Gilmour’s game is his eye for a pass and the youngster’s ability to execute eye-of-the-needle through-balls. It is something you rarely see in a player so young.
Moving forward we can expect to see him playing in an orthodox central-midfield role given his qualities both defensively and offensively.
It’s almost impossible these days for a central-midfielder to play one decent game without having ‘iesta’ added onto the end of their name.
‘Gilmiesta’ doesn’t really work, so Chelsea and Scotland fans have settled on ‘Billiesta’ – still a bit rubbish really, isn’t it?
First thing’s first, we’d like to point out that not for a second are we suggesting he’s anywhere near the level of former Barcelona man Andres Iniesta, though his ability to seamlessly shift his weight and move past players is very impressive (see exhibit A above of him sending Fabinho back to Monaco).
“He is a very strategic guy, with a very high level of game understanding, very good in the first contact, very clever in positioning. He is super quick with his feet, super fast with his decision making, and very good in positioning.”
– Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel
“Personality is the most important at this age and he’s got it all right.”
– Former Chelsea teammate Cesc Fabregas
“There’s no doubt about it he’s very highly thought of at Chelsea. One for the future, absolutely.”
– Scotland manager Steve Clarke
Gilmour’s rating on FIFA 21 is weirdly low, yet you could look at that as a positive.
The Scottish midfielder starts off with a rating of just 66, but his potential rating of 86 means there’s plenty of room for development and you could easily snap him up as soon as you kick off your career mode before moulding him into an absolute gem.
Gilmour can cover a whole host of positions across the midfield and so he’s a great option for any of you aspiring tacticians looking to add some depth to your squad.
His stats aren’t exactly sparkling when you start your save, but there’s plenty of room for him to grow and he’s got a possible value of £61m if you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to help him fulfil his undoubted potential.
Sounds like an absolute no-brainer to us.
Gilmour is sponsored by adidas and can usually be spotted in a pair of their Predator Mutator 20.1s.
The Scotsman is expected to be sporting a pair of the Predator Mutator 20.1s at Euro 2020 and maybe he’ll even go all patriotic with a nice blue and white pair.
Steve Clarke has made no secret of the fact he wants Gilmour to be playing regular first-team football at club level before he’s given a chance to cement his place in the Scotland starting XI.
The Chelsea man has a lot of competition for a place in the Scotland midfield with John McGinn, Stuart Armstrong and Scott McTominay just a few of the names in Clarke’s squad for the delayed Euro 2020 finals, so his game time may be limited.
That being said, Gilmour’s ability to break up play as well as bringing attacking endeavour means he’s likely to be brought off the bench regardless of whether Scotland are chasing the game or hanging onto a lead, so he’ll definitely play some part this summer.