Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour reminds Tony Cascarino of legendary Manchester United captain Roy Keane. Gilmour, 18, starred for Chelsea in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. The young Scot’s performance earned rave reviews from England legends Alan Shearer and Ian Wright after the match.
And now former Chelsea forward Tony Cascarino has had his say, saying Gilmour has similar qualities to United great Keane.
“[He was] thrown in the deep end and absolutely swam, he didn’t have an issue at all,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“In the first 15 minutes he just set the standard for him for the game, just getting on it, dictating the pace.
“Without going over the top, because I’m as guilty as everybody of doing this and getting too excited about what you see, but I remember Keane being very similar at this age.
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“Keane demanded the ball, he was a fearless footballer.
“When I first saw him at Nottingham Forest and then when he got in the Ireland squad, Roy just enjoyed having the ball, he demanded it, ‘give me it’.
“Billy Gilmour did that. [Keane] was tenacious and Billy Gilmour showed that as well last night.
“If I’m comparing that to what I’m seeing from an 18-year-old, Roy had that tenacity in his game where he just wanted the ball and never shirked anything.
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“That’s what Gilmour did last night.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was full of praise for Gilmour after the match and says the teenager has proved he is ready to play first-team football.
“I’ve got absolute trust in Billy,” Lampard said.
“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.
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“But I’ve no problem with him because if he’s small in stature he’s huge in personality, and also huge in talent.
“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.
“Billy showed today that he’s absolutely comfortable at this level. If he can play like he played tonight, 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.”
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