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Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour might have only just broken into the first team in the absence of the injured or suspended trio of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, but the youngster had made sure to grab the opportunity with both hands, or rather with his right foot.
The 18-year-old has controlled the midfield in the last two games with a maturity far beyond his age, and his performances have been compared with that of Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Formerly called the Scottish Xavi, Chelsea fans have now given Gilmour a new nickname ‘Billy-esta’ and have even chanted his name at the Bridge, much to the surprise of the youngster.
Chelsea hero Pat Nevin has written about the youngster’s new nickname and also admitted that he wants the youngster to be introduced to the national team as soon as possible. The legend has also compared the rise of Gilmour to his as a youngster.
Nevin wrote in his column: “Billy has got a new nickname already in Billyesta, the chants have started with his name, some of us are already suggesting he should be added to the full Scotland national team squad, me included. Every newspaper, football website and commentator has been purring over his performances. This is just one week after many football fans outside Chelsea might have reasonably said, Billy who?
“I will be honest and say I am comfortable that I know exactly how Billy is feeling right now. I came down from Scotland as a young skinny teenage kid too, hoping though not expecting to break into the first team. It happened quicker than I thought it would, within a month I was in the team and by the end of the season I was Player of the Year.
“It was a huge leap for someone who had been a part-time player and full-time student in Glasgow just months before. There were a few televised highlights of games that season but a match against Manchester City, one of our great rivals at the time, was broadcast live on BBC TV on a Friday, a very unusual event back then. The viewing figures were huge, I scored, got MOTM and had the pundit, one Bobby Charlton the England World Cup winner, extolling my virtues to the world.
“Just as it was for Billy Gilmour this week, everything changed in that instant.”