The Chelsea star is in contention to make his first start for Scotland against the Czech Republic on Monday after coming off the bench in each of the warm-up friendlies.
It’s been quite the rise for the 20-year-old, who has played 11 times for Chelsea in each of the past two seasons following his decision to join the London club as his first professional club from Rangers.
Prior to him becoming a regular member of the Stamford Bridge first team squad, McInnes tried to lure him north of the border in the 2020 January window but his request was quickly shut down by the Blues.
He told the Sunday Mail: “I don’t know the boy but I have watched him play through the youth levels against our teams at Aberdeen and I have had good reports from former teammates and ex-players of mine since he moved south from Rangers. Wee Jody Morris, in particular, just loves Billy. He used to rave about him when he was part of Frank Lampard’s coaching staff at Stamford Bridge.
“Midway through last season I called Jody up and asked him about the chances of bringing Billy up to Pittodrie on loan. My request was quickly shut down. Jody just didn’t think it was possible and you can understand why!
“He has been trusted to play in big games by both Frank and Thomas Tuchel and now he has a Champions League winner’s medal to his name. Not bad for a kid who celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday.”