Former Chelsea ace Pat Nevin is unsurprised with the early impression made by midfielder Billy Gilmour. The 18-year-old was recently handed his maiden Blues start in the FA Cup fifth round against Liverpool and he managed to dominate the proceedings in the midfield with his impressing positioning.

Thereafter, the youngster made his full Premier League debut against Everton and he produced a similarly effective performance as the Blues ran out 4-0 victors. In both of those games, he was adjudged as the man of the match and that has not surprised Nevin, who has watched the midfielder’s progress through the youth ranks.

He wrote in his Chelsea column: “The plaudits are coming in not only from the pundits but from everywhere else. Chelsea fans, writers, former players and admirers from other clubs have not been slow to come forward. As with all overnight successes, it isn’t really overnight, Billy has been working a lifetime, albeit a pretty short one so far, building up to this moment.He never looked like fluffing his lines in front of a surprised, then intrigued and finally hugely impressed audience. He was Man of the Match against Liverpool and then carried on in precisely the same vein against Everton six days later.”

Frank Lampard has placed the trust on youngsters after the Blues’ transfer ban last summer and he has hinted that the trend could continue next season regardless of the purchase of high-profile players. Gilmour could have quite easily started off the bench during the recent FA Cup tie but Lampard entrusted him with a starting role ahead of Jorginho despite the Italian being suspended for the next few Premier League and Champions League games.

Gilmour’s performances are reported to have already caught the eye of Barcelona and Real Madrid but it is highly unlikely that the Blues would consider his sale at any price. The youngster only extended his contract at the beginning of the campaign. He has more than three years remaining on his current deal.

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