“Iniesta was more like my style of play”

This season has been all about the Chelsea youth academy talents coming through and announcing themselves in the first team.

Reece James is one of the main success stories so far, but Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have all become first team regulars under Frank Lampard.

There has been some bit part minutes for a few of the other talents as well such as Marc Guehi, Faustino Anjorin, Tariq Lamptey, and Billy Gilmour.

It is the latter who is rated as one of the hottest prospects amongst the under-18s right now though, and you just know that this kid has a massive future.

He lives and breaths football, and has high aspirations to make it at Chelsea under Lampard.

Gilmour plays with ridiculous confidence on the ball and is a technically brilliant player.

In an interview with Goal, he reveals where he takes his playing influences from, and when you watch him, you can see this in his style of play.

He said:

“If you are small, it doesn’t matter. Some of the best players in the world are small like Lionel Messi. When I get on the ball I move it quickly so I am two steps ahead.

“It was always El Clasico that I loved to watch when I was young. I loved watching Iniesta and Xavi. They were my favourite players. You can put Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi up there but Iniesta was more like my style of play.

“Looking at Xavi and Iniesta, that’s what I wanted to focus my game on. Then in the academy, you are asked to compare your game to other players so I looked to Cesc Fabregas when he was at Chelsea.

“He is a top player, how he got on the ball, received it and passed it. So I was looking at that and then right now there’s a lot of players to look at. When I watch games now I like to see Frenkie de Jong, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

“They are top players to look at because I like to get on the ball, drop deep, create play and I am always hardworking and on the move searching for space. I like to give out a few tackles…