Billy Gilmour Compared To N’Golo Kante After Midfield Masterclass Against England
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Billy Gilmour delivered a star-making turn in Scotland's 0-0 draw with England at Wembley as the Chelsea youngster finished the game with the man of the match award.
Making his first senior international start, Gilmour - who turned 20 a week ago - barely put a foot wrong for the 76 minutes he was on the pitch. Every single pass the midfielder made in the first half found a Scotland shirt (a perfect 20 of 20).
The 5ft 7in playmaker was everywhere, being cheekily described as "basically N'Golo Kante" by Dutch international Patrick van Aanholt post-match - the highest of praise as Gilmour's Chelsea teammate is the best in the world in his position.
Fair play Scotland, them tribal games hit different. Billy Gilmour was basically Ngolo Kante :clap:- Patrick van Aanholt (@pvanaanholt) June 18, 2021
Gilmour ended the game with a 91% passing accuracy, eight ball recoveries and two tackles. But it was his assured performance and skill when suddenly thrust on the international stage that impressed fans.
Two-time former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho agreed, telling talkSPORT: "The kid Gilmour in midfield, he made the difference.
"He was fantastic. He was always moving, always showing, he wanted the ball, he was turning under pressure. He linked the game much, much better."
Who cares about age, talent is talent https://t.co/HjXWknzsWO- Gabe Skeoch (@gabe_skeoch) June 18, 2021
Seeing Gilmour's performance tonight, Jorginho's 2 great performances for Italy & Ngolo doing Ngolo things for France, I just don't get why Chelsea fans want Chelsea to spend £90m on Rice.- Conn (@ConnCFC) June 18, 2021
Unless I'm mistaken, Billy Gilmour was named man of the match after his FA Cup debut, Premier League debut, first Champions League start and now his first Scotland start.- Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) June 18, 2021
40 - On his first Scotland start, Billy Gilmour completed more passes than any other Scottish player against England (40), despite only playing 76 minutes. Gilmour is now the youngest player to start a major tournament match for Scotland (20y 7d). Unfazed. #SCO #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/t7wyaXV65R- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 18, 2021
Billy Gilmour appreciation tweet. 20 years old. Making his debut for Scotland against England. Has looked like one of the best players on the pitch :clap: pic.twitter.com/dVUqX2dE2I- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 18, 2021
Gilmour did not start in Scotland's 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic but made a massive difference to his side's midfield in the Wembley draw. Arsenal's Kieran Tierney, fit again after missing the opening match through injury, also bolstered a reshuffled defence as Steve Clarke got his team selection spot on.
However it was a different story for Gareth Southgate's England as - after John Stones crashed an early header off the post - they struggled to break Scotland down and, in the end, had as many chances against them as they created for themselves.
A lot of that was down to Gilmour, who pulled the strings in possession and covered the ground when the home side had the ball.
Billy Gilmour made more recoveries than any other player and completed more passes than any other #SCO player during his time on the pitch:- Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 18, 2021
44 passes attempted
40 passes completed
8 ball recoveries
2 tackles made
A classy full debut for the 20-year-old. :clap: pic.twitter.com/2u8VeWsWLq
It's fair to say Scotland and Chelsea fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to the 20-year-old's future.