Chelsea teen Billy Gilmour earns praise from Frank Lampard and pundits
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard described 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour as a "throwback", after the Scot's superb display in their 2-0 FA Cup win over Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Gilmour, 18, was handed only his third start in the fifth-round match, having also been selected for a couple of League Cup ties, and seized his chance with an assured performance in a high-tempo tie.
Lampard has given youth a chance this season with Mason Mount, a regular starter, also impressive against Liverpool.
The diminutive Gilmour really caught the eye though, with his incisive passing, tackling and fearlessness on the ball.
Lampard could hardly contain the smile when asked about the player snapped up from the Rangers academy.
"What an incredible performance for a young player," Lampard told the BBC.
"He was a calm head in that first five or 10 minutes. He's a throwback of a midfielder.
"Can you put your foot in? Yes. Can you make angles to play the passes? Yes. He's only slight in stature, but he's huge in personality. He deserves people to talk about him after a performance like that."
Pundits were doing just that, with ex-Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer telling Match of the Day Live: "The star of the show is Gilmour. He has bossed it... absolutely magnificent."
Added former Arsenal star Ian Wright: "He's very impressive... for an 18-year-old... Unbelievable the way he's played."
Ex-Blues star Cesc Fabregas took to Twitter to hail the Scottish teenager.
"Fantastic. Personality on the ball, intelligence in his decision-making, always making angles to offer himself and has that bit of aggression in him which is very important, especially in the EPL," he wrote.
Gilmour could have more opportunities to feature, as both Mateo Kovacic and Willian limped out of the game with Achilles injuries.
Ross Barkley could also have more chances to kickstart his flagging career at the Bridge.
The England international scored Chelsea's second goal in spectacular fashion, galloping from inside his own half before smashing past Adrian from outside the area, adding to Willian's 13th-minute opener.
Lampard also praised the recalled goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who made saves in quick succession to help secure victory. - REUTERS
Reading 1 Sheffield United 2 (a.e.t), West Brom 2 Newcastle 3