Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour brings more to the Blues midfield than first-team regular Jorginho, says England legend Alan Shearer. Gilmour, 18, was handed a start in the Chelsea side for the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Liverpool on Tuesday. It was the teenager’s sixth appearance of the season under Frank Lampard.
Gilmour lined up in midfield alongside Kovacic at Stamford Bridge, with Jorginho dropping to the bench.
And Shearer hailed Gilmour’s first-half performance at half time during the BBC’s coverage of the match.
“The star of the show is the midfielder, young Billy Gilmour,” Shearer said.
“He has bossed it. Whatever he has been asked to do, whether that’s collecting the ball, passing it forward, protecting that back four, spraying the ball around. He’s been absolutely magnificent.
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“Do you know what? Every time, or a lot of the time, I’ve seen Chelsea this season, yes they have good possession in Jorginho and the way he passes it, but he hasn’t done what this young boy has done in terms of getting the ball but passing it forward, that’s been his first thought.
“Not only that but he’s protected that back four magnificently and everything that he’s done has been spot on.
“The tackling, the timing of the tackles, setting Chelsea forward, the confidence. He’s 18 years of age.
“To have that confidence, that belief in your ability, what a half he’s had.”
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Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright can see why a number of Europe’s top clubs wanted to sign Gilmour before he joined Chelsea in 2017.
“Well he’s very impressive and what’s good about it is that Frank in his interview before he said ‘Listen, he’s in there because he deserves to be in there, the way he’s trained’,” Wright said.
“And we’ve seen he’s somebody that was tracked by City and United and Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“Watching him, I’m not going to go over the top on it, but you can see for an 18-year-old the maturity. Unbelievable display.”
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Former Chelsea and Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson says Gilmour’s team-mates clearly have faith in him.
“The difference for me is obviously all those other players on the pitch there know him a hell of a lot better than what we do,” Johnson said.
“You can see they’ve been passing him the ball in positions where they’re half risky and you can tell they believe in him and they believe in his ability and that he can cope with it mentally.
“He’s showed it every time he’s received the ball.”
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