Gilmour backed to follow Rooney’s route to the top after making Chelsea breakthrough at 18

Scotland U21 boss Scot Gemmill once graced the same Everton side as an England legend and sees another teenager starring for many years to come

Billy Gilmour is being backed to follow in the footsteps of fellow teenage sensation Wayne Rooney, with Scot Gemmill tipping the Chelsea youngster to reach the very top of the game.

The first tentative steps are being taken down that path by an exciting 18-year-old midfielder at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard has given Gilmour a big break in Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Premier League competition, with assured performances being put in across the board.

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The Blues will not be rushing the development of a promising academy graduate, while Scotland have resisted the urge to draft him into the senior squad.

Gemmill, manager of the U21 side, is convinced, though, that Gilmour can emulate the efforts of a Manchester United and England legend that he graced the same Everton side as when a breakthrough was made at just 16 years of age.

“During my playing career, I was at Everton when Wayne Rooney was given an opportunity at a young age,” said Gemmill.

“He’s gone on to have an unbelievable career. So I think if you’re a good enough player, you can play, it’s as simple as that.”

Gilmour is considered to be at the perfect club to aid his progress from this point, with Lampard showing considerable faith in youth.

Gemmill added: “Billy has stepped up.

“He’s been given an opportunity at a fantastic level, at a fantastic club. His manager has been unbelievable for him to give him that opportunity and Billy has gone a big way to confirming that potential.

“I’m very confident he’ll get to play for the full [Scotland] squad as well.”

Steve Clarke has opted against calling upon Gilmour for an upcoming Euro 2020 play-off with Israel, but it could be that he is promoted if injuries work against the Scots.

“Billy’s recent performances have gone a huge way to confirming his talent we’ve all spoken about,” Gemmill said.

“I met Steve and right now, Steve is happy for Billy to be selected for the Under-21s. But as is the same with all the players, that can change at any moment.”

For now, Gilmour’s focus is locked on domestic efforts, with Chelsea preparing for meetings with Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Leicester across three competitions before attention turns to international matters.

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