What are the chances of Billy Gilmour starting against England? Ex-Scotland international rates Chelsea kid's chances
Former Chelsea and Scotland star Pat Nevin believes Billy Gilmour could have a “big part” to play in Friday’s Euro 2020 clash at Wembley.
A sizeable chunk of the Tartan Army have been calling for the 20-year-old midfielder to be given a chance against England following Monday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.
Manager Steve Clarke started with a midfield three of Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong and John McGinn for the opening contest. Despite having greater possession and attempts on goal, the head coach was criticised by supporters for remaining too loyal to some players and not taking enough chances with his team selection.
Gilmour has played just twice for the national team so far, both from the substitutes bench in warm-up friendlies, but Scots have been eager to see him in a dark blue shirt every since he burst onto the scene with Chelsea and a superb showing in an FA Cup victory over Liverpool.
And Nevin, who has watched the player consistently at Stamford Bridge, reckons he’ll be ready to shine if Clarke calls on him for the second match in Group D.
He told bettingexpert.com: "I wouldn't expect him to start, but I wouldn't be disappointed if he does. Scotland will need a three-man midfield against England, so is it McGinn and McTominay - who are both very important players for Scotland - alongside Armstrong?
“Trying to fit a place in there for Billy Gilmour to play is hard, considering that he is just new on the scene with Scotland.
“He is good enough, I've seen every minute he's played in a Chelsea shirt and he'll be fine. He'll walk onto the big stage at Wembley and not be fazed by it.
“I think Scotland need to try and keep the ball and find time during the game where they're not chasing shadows - if so, they would need Gilmour on the field to do that because he can keep it as well as anybody else in the team.
"Steve knows how good he is and has done for some time, but he doesn't want to rush it. People shouldn't be given international caps on a whim, and you have to remember that Gilmour wasn't playing every week for Chelsea, there's quite a good midfield there!
"He's not let himself down when he has got games. In Chelsea's recent game against Arsenal he was taken off at half-time but he was the best player in a Chelsea shirt that day, he was playing better than Jorginho. Clarke won't underrate him and you have to work with people for a while to understand their capabilities.
"Thomas Tuchel did the same with Mason Mount, he dropped him right at the start then had a look and thought, 'right I get this now' and played him every week. When Tuchel had a good look at Gilmour he thought he was okay and trusts him.
"Eventually, he will be a starter for Chelsea, which is a big call considering that's a world class club. Clarke will do the same, he will watch him in training and he's had flutters with the first team and I wouldn't be surprised if either against England or the last game against Croatia he will play a big part in the game."
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