It’s a moment that every young player must have played out in their heads a thousand times. That moment when the manager takes you into the office and tells you to prepare for your first start for the senior team.
For Billy Gilmour that’s not exactly how things happened. It’s brilliant to see him doing so well at Chelsea, many thought the move from Rangers would see him disappear into their ridiculous loan system, but he managed to force his way into the first team this season.
His first start came against Grimsby in the Carabao Cup. It seems like it was a sudden reveal when he learned that he would be starting the game.
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A report from Football.London showed some of Gilmour’s comments about that Grimsby game, especially in terms of how he learned he would be playing.
Gilmour said: “We were doing drills and he told us to split into two teams. He told our group to be sharp because it was the starting team for tomorrow. When he said that, I just looked at one of the other boys in the team and we made eye contact and just kind of laughed!”
He went on to say: “Obviously to get told that was amazing. I didn’t believe him to be honest! It was very exciting for me. After that I couldn’t wait to tell my mum and dad that I was starting.”
Chelsea went on to win the game and it certainly seems like the Scotsman made a decent impression. A story from the Daily Mail after the game revealed that Frank Lampard said Gilmour “ran the game from midfield” so hopefully he will get more first team action soon.
He’s still relatively inexperienced but these kinds of performances will only lead to further calls to see him make the jump to play for the Scotland senior team too. The midfield is one of the stronger areas but it’s all similar types of players who do a lot of running but can’t control the game.
Euro 2020 will come way too soon, but we can still hope of Gilmour and McTominay leading the team to glory at the World Cup in 2022 – or maybe just a more competitive qualifying performance will do for now.