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Legendary Premier League midfielders Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane are in agreement over the potential of Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour.
The Scottish midfielder made his first international start in Friday night’s scoreless draw against England at Wembley in Euro 2020 and earned the Man of the Match award.
The central midfielder has been tipped for a bright future in the game with many Blues fans calling on him to be given greater prominence in the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge.
The 20-year-old was initially promoted to the first-team squad at Chelsea under Frank Lampard and whilst initially not featuring under new boss Thomas Tuchel, he made three successive Premier League starts in May.
Billy Gilmour has started to enjoy more prominence under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea
(Image: Laurence Griffiths/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Gilmour started in Chelsea’s victories over Manchester City and Fulham, while he was also in the XI for the home defeat against Arsenal.
His starting role in the Euro 2020 clash against England once again brought him into the spotlight due to his technical ability, tactical awareness and positioning.
Gilmour did not look out of place against Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Chelsea teammate Mason Mount, with Steve Clarke’s Scotland side winning the midfield battle against their most illustrious opponents.
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Now, former Arsenal midfielder Vieira has spoken out of praise in the Scot, lauding Gilmour for his willingness to get on the ball and to orchestrate the game from his position.
Vieira told ITV Sport : "I think he had a terrific game.
"I really love his technical ability. He loves to get on the ball.
"He’s not quite physical or really strong. But his personality allowed him to get on the ball and make the game from the back.
Should Billy Gilmour be a first-team regular at Chelsea next season? Comment below
"His teammates aren’t scared to give him the ball because they know how good he is on the ball.
"And I think he has a really good future ahead of him."
Vieira’s words echoed those of his long-term rival Keane – who was captain of Manchester United during the Frenchman’s spell in North London, with the rivalry between the sides fierce.
Another distinguished former central midfielder, Keane explained on Sky last March following Gilmour’s starring role in an FA Cup win over Liverpool : "From his performance the other night, he was fantastic.
"As the game started I literally got out of my seat, which I very rarely do, and I thought, ‘Who is this kid?’
"There are certain traits you want from a midfielder, quality on the ball, football intelligence, composure. He had everything, it was one of the best performances I have seen in a long, long time.
"The downside for the kid now is he’s got to back it up. It’s a different kind of test for him now to back it up.
"Just his general play I thought it was like a world class player. That’s what he looked like straight away.
"I thought it was one of their experienced lads and then I kept a close eye on him for the rest of the game and everything he did throughout the game just had quality written all over it."