Jose Mourinho felt Scotland could use Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour in the same way Spain have utilised Barcelona’s Pedri.
Writing for the Times, Mourinho cast his eye over tonight’s massive European Championship showdown between the Scots and England.
Steve Clarke’s side will be well aware that anything other than a positive result on their rival’s home turf might signal the end of their tournament.
A defeat against the Czech Republic’s on match day one leaves the Tartan Army teetering on the edge of elimination.
Taking note of Pedri
Clarke must throw caution to the wind if he is to keep his nation’s dreams alive and that may revolve around trusting Gilmour from the outset.
The mini-midfielder was an unused substitute against the Czechs, with his manager opting for experience over ingenuity.
This is not something Luis Enrique adhered to when he started Barcelona teenager, Pedri, in Spain’s 0-0 stalemate with Sweden.
Despite the drab draw, the 18-year-old impressed onlookers and is likely to feature throughout the competition.
Mourinho makes a case for Gilmour
Mourinho wondered if Clarke could emulate Pedri’s performance by gifting Gilmour the keys to Scotland’s midriff.
“For Scotland, I was surprised how they were really struggling to build their game, to play from the back and reach the midfield against the Czech Republic,” said Chelsea’s Premier League winning manager.
“I would ask if Billy Gilmour can’t give them a little bit of that.
“He would be isolated from the physical aspect of the team but he would give them what they need which is someone who really wants to play, to move, to get the ball.
“Spain trusted in Pedri, aged just 18, and all the play came through him. I ask if Scotland can look for something similar from Gilmour.”
Ashley Cole was in agreement with his former boss, suggesting the Blues academy product ‘should play’ this evening.
From Chelsea to Barcelona
There are parallels between Pedri and Gilmour that makes Mourinho’s comparison obvious.
They are two exceptional young talents- both were nominated for the Golden Boy award.
Their respective clubs are amongst Europe’s elite.
Plus, they generally feature in midfield.
However, one huge difference is the amount of game time Pedri has been afforded at Barca.
Last season, he made 52 appearances across all competitions; no member of Ronald Koeman’s squad made more.
Gilmour on the other hand played just 11 times for Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.
But his quality is undeniable and might just be the spark Scotland needs to overcome their arch enemy.