'Should play': Ashley Cole eager for 'quality' Chelsea player to start next Euro 2020 tie

Chelsea legend Ashley Cole had every faith that Billy Gilmour could step up for Scotland in their huge European Championship clash with England.

Speaking on the ITV Football Football Show podcast, Cole was discussing whether Gilmour should be selected for his sides crunch match later today.

The 20-year-old was an unused substitute during Scotland’s opening group game defeat to the Czech Republic.

He hardly kicked a ball leading up to the tournament for club or country, but still managed to squeeze into Steve Clarke’s squad.

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With a trip to Wembley looming large on the horizon, the Tartan Army cannot afford any slip ups if they are to avoid being eliminated.

Cole calls for Gilmour

Despite the game’s magnitude, Cole thought Gilmour had enough quality to start for Scotland this evening.

“For such a young boy he handles himself well,” said the Blues iconic left-back.

“He’s got a good character and mentality.

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“Always wants to work hard, always wants to improve, always listens to the coaches, managers, whether he’s training with the U23s.

“He’s got top quality. His decision making on the ball.

“I think he should play. But again, will that emotion of the occasions overawe him.

“Him in the midfield, (Scott) McTominay and (John) McGinn, I think he’s definitely got enough to play.  It’s whether Steve Clarke wants to put him on and take the risk.”

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Minutes matter

Any Chelsea or Scotland supporter will tell you there is no question over Gilmour’s ability.

What concerns them is his lack of game time domestically or internationally.

His only two senior Scottish caps came in their two friendly fixtures ahead of the Euros.

Last season with Chelsea, the midfielder managed just 11 appearances in all competitions for the first team.

That’s a total of 696 minutes across the entire campaign.

Not ideal preparation for the competition, but all of that could be forgotten if he pulls off a master class versus England.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.