Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has praised youngster Billy Gilmour and even compared him to Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, while he urged him to ‘follow the ideas’ of Roy Keane.
The young Scot gave a man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool in the FA Cup at the start of March and backed it up with another dominant display in his full Premier League debut in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Everton a few days later – the club’s last match before the league was suspended.
Keane was uncharacteristically flattering when he saw Gilmour in action – even dubbing him ‘world-class’ – and Lampard believes the United legend and old teammate Scholes are examples he can emulate.
Asked about Keane’s comments, Lampard told Sky Sports: ‘I had to put my cup of tea down to hear Roy say something nice! I’m only joking.
‘Roy Keane was a fantastic midfield player and he probably won’t give credit unless it’s due – and it certainly was due. And he’s right, I heard the statements he made about Billy and I think he’s spot on.
‘Billy should be happy with that and if he can go and follow the ideas that someone like Roy Keane says when it comes to midfield play he won’t go far wrong.’
On how much credit the academy should get, Lampard continued: ‘Yeah certainly. The academy lads, Jody [Morris] and Joe [Edwards], are on my staff now and would have worked with him before.
‘He came with the right attributes obviously and the right attitude and they would have worked on that. A lot of that has to come from within. And as I say, Billy’s consistency, he does it daily, there aren’t many days when you don’t see him turn up and try and do those right things.
‘I agree, you touch on Paul Scholes there, Paul Scholes is obviously one of the greatest midfield players I’ve played against in the Premier League. It was interesting to play against Scholesy, in the early parts of his career he was a goal-getter and an arriver in the box.
‘Just as you said there, he’d play it around the corner but not even that he would then arrive in the box and then he would have the ability and the feet and the nous to score goals and make assists regularly.
‘And then to see him change his career. I know we think it’s probably easier – the cutthroat part of the pitch is the top-end where it becomes much tighter and quicker – in midfield it can be easier because you have more time in those deeper areas, but if you’re a player who’s not top quality like Scholesy, more time can sometimes be a problem for you.
‘So he would always pick the right pass, he had incredible range. Again if you did try and jump from midfield and get to him and get close to him he’d just play it around the corner because he knew you were coming. And Billy has shown early signs of that kind of ability.
‘I’m not comparing him to Scholesy, not way at all, but in terms of those basics that you mentioned, then Billy certainly has them and that’s a great platform to build hopefully a fantastic career.’
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