'The sign of a top player': John Collins identifies Billy Gilmour's attributes in England draw

Billy Gilmour turned in another outstanding appearance for Scotland in just his third international game.

The 20-year-old started his first Scotland international at Wembley, against England, in a major tournament – becoming the youngest player ever to feature for the national side on the grand stage.

And he is deserving of such an accolade believes John Collins as the Chelsea midfielder showed all the attributes of being ‘ a top player’ said the former Celtic midfielder who himself starred for Scotland on the largest stage of all – scoring against World Champions Brazil on the opening day of the 1998 World Cup in France.

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But watching on at Wembley, Collins could not help but be impressed by the youngster – and all of his midfield colleagues.

Scotland's midfielder Billy Gilmour (C) and Scotland's coach Steve Clarke (R) react after the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D  match between England and Scotland at Wembley. (Photo by FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland's midfielder Billy Gilmour (C) and Scotland's coach Steve Clarke (R) react after the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley. (Photo by FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"The one I'm always going to highlight is Billy Gilmour,” Collins said. “The kid was outstanding and played with so much maturity.

"In the second half we started not so well but he was the one along with [Callum] McGregor who got us back into the game and started popping it about and brought confidence back into the team. It was maturity and that was the key.

“His head is up constantly and he's always wanting the ball. He's always pointing to his team-mates, using his hands and that's a sign of a top player. He has all the attributes: vision; decision-making; attitude even when he's not with the ball; the work he put in when he didn't have the ball.

“Out of possession they all did so much good work and had the full width of the park to cover.

“We didn't play with any wingers and we had a back five so those three players put so much effort in and they all have a good night sleep that's for sure.”

Steve Clarke also received praise for pitching the midfielder in – and he wasn’t let down by Gilmour, nor any of his team.

Also speaking on the STV match coverage, former goalkeeper Gemma Fay added: “He made brave decisions. He started Billy Gilmour and put Scott McTominay back into the defensive line which has not always work for Scotland. He stuck with Stephen O'Donnell who had come under criticism and they repaid him and they repaid him in style. Everyone on the pitch was excellent.”

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