Frank Lampard says diminutive teen star Billy Gilmour is “huge in talent” after the midfielder excelled in the FA Cup win over Liverpool.
Gilmour bossed Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over the Premier League champions elect, the 18-year-old rightly named man of the match in just his second Blues start this term.
The Rangers youth product only stepped up to Chelsea’s senior squad on a permanent basis last month but has already forced his way into manager Lampard’s immediate plans.
Achilles injuries to Mateo Kovacic and Willian, coupled with Jorginho’s impending suspension and the continued absence of N’Golo Kante, all pave the way for Gilmour to assume a pivotal Stamford Bridge role.
And Lampard insists the fresh-faced youngster is already ready for the challenge.
“I’ve got absolute trust in Billy,” said Lampard.
“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.
“And 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.
“He does all the right things, and he’s humble.
“And all his family were here tonight, I think his nan and granddad were down from Scotland.
“And what a performance; not just as a youngster coming into the team, that’s one level – he performed like a top-class player going up against top-class players. So it was a great performance.”
Willian and Ross Barkley found the net as Chelsea inflicted Liverpool’s third defeat in four matches, shocking the previously rampant Reds in west London.
Gilmour oozed class from first to last in a performance of matchless quality, leaving Lampard insisting the teen talent is already equipped to thrive in top-tier competition.
“Billy showed today that he’s absolutely comfortable at this level,” said Lampard.
“If he can play like he played tonight then he’s comfortable at this level, so 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.”