It was a night in which Billy Gilmour announced himself to a wider audience but for those who have been watching him up close for some time there was no surprise at how seamlessly he slotted into the base of Chelsea’s midfield against Liverpool.
The 18-year-old was named man of the match following a dominant display in the 2-0 win and earned unanimous praise from Frank Lampard and his team-mates afterwards.
He now seems set to retain his place for Sunday’s game against Everton because of injuries to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante along with Jorginho’s suspension.
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Ross Barkley, who lined up on the right of Gilmour and scored the second goal, has been impressed by the youngster’s approach since he recently became a permanent part of Frank Lampard’s first-team squad but last night’s showing was not a shock.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Barkley said of Gilmour’s display. “I see him doing it in training every day, he doesn’t have a day when he is struggling. For a young lad he is really mature with his ability on the ball, he makes the right decision most of the time.
“He is similar to Jorginho. He is a quality player and a good addition to the squad. He recently moved into the first team changing room with us and he’s settled in really well and long may it continue.
“He is always asking questions as well which is a sign of a player that wants to improve and do well for the club. I like him and the manager and coaching staff love him as well.”
As another young midfield player, Mason Mount can appreciate the challenge facing Gilmour more than most but he is confident that the teenager is capable of taking further steps forward.
“Obviously I’m very close to Bill, I’m happy and delighted for him, because I know what he can do,” Mount, who replaced Kovacic late in the first half, said.