Former Chelsea right-back Glen Johnson hopes Billy Gilmour’s performance against Liverpool was not a one-off and just built on adrenaline. Gilmour, 18, played a starring role in Chelsea’s midfield as the Blues beat Liverpool 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge. It was just the young Scot’s second start for the first team.
Johnson was working as a pundit for the BBC on the match and says he had not seen Gilmour play before.
And now the pundit is hopeful Gilmour’s performance was a true reflection of his ability.
“I just hope that performance wasn’t because of adrenaline,” Johnson said on talkSPORT.
“I just hope that is how he can perform.
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“We see the team sheet [before the match] and we were all like ‘Who’s the kid?’.
“No one had heard of him and obviously seen him play, so naturally you’re watching him more because you don’t get into Chelsea’s first team at 18 unless you deserve your chance.
“I watched him in the warm up and he looked tiny and then we see a photo of him and he looks about 12.
“[But] he looked like he had been playing there for years.
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“You can tell how good the Chelsea players think he is because they were giving him the ball in tight areas that could be deemed as a risky pass, but they clearly believed that he could deal with the situation.
“They trusted him and they know him better than we do and they’ve obviously seen a lot in training to be able to do this.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is a huge fan of Gilmour and says he has proved he is ready for a regular first-team place.
“I’ve got absolute trust in Billy,” Lampard said.
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“I remember when he first came in against Sheffield United, we drew the game and people questioned this kid who looks like a 15-year-old. I remember someone individually saying that to me.
“But I’ve no problem with him because if he’s small in stature he’s huge in personality, and also huge in talent.
“For me, for a midfield player I have lots of questions.
“Do you want to receive the ball in all positions, in all moments? Yes, he does. Do you want to make angles, can you pick the right pass? Yes, he generally does. Will you put your foot in? Yes, he does.
“Billy showed today that he’s absolutely comfortable at this level. If he can play like he played tonight, he can get himself in and around the team now.
“The reason he moved from the academy to the first-team building recently, to train with us all the time, is because of the quality of player he is.
“He’s done himself no harm tonight with an immaculate performance, a brilliant performance.”
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