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Many were surprised when Chelsea manager Frank Lampard decided to introduce youngster Billy Gilmour late in the game against Sheffield United.
With the scores at 2-1, Lampard opted to withdraw Abraham and Kovacic after 84 minutes with Michy Batshuayi and debutant Billy Gilmour introduced in their places. But Lampard’s decision to hand Gilmour his debut in such a difficult game has been criticised in the media.
However, Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has revealed that although Gilmour isn’t really known at the Bridge, he’s highly rated in Scotland.
Nevin wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “There may have been real surprise around the ground when Billy Gilmour got the nod as well. Now those who follow Chelsea closely will know that the young Scotsman is very highly regarded at the club but those outside of Cobham and the 5th Stand bubble might be less educated. He will be and is already a very, very exciting talent; Chelsea fans will definitely see more of him in the coming years.
“Up in Scotland however his ability is not unknown. In fact there was much despair at Rangers and in Scotland generally when he was brought to Chelsea. There was a fear he could get lost in the huge churn of talent that is here and indeed the Premier League overall. I have lost count of the number of times when Scottish newspapers, radio stations and podcasters have asked me how I thought Billy was doing and how he would do in the longer term at Stamford Bridge. Most importantly, would he ever get a sniff of a first team game?
“I always explained ‘wisely’ that he is very young, there are top international players ahead of him but if he continues to work hard, in a few years’ time you just never know. Patience however will be vital for him. Well it is just a few weeks since the last time I said that and I have been proved totally wrong already.”