Billy Gilmour said he is flattered by Cesc Fabregas’ praises and opened up about how he has been learning from the former Chelsea star’s playing style.
When a player of Fabregas’ calibre described you as “fantastic”, you know you have been doing well on the pitch.
It was exactly what the Barcelona midfielder said about Gilmour after his man-of-the-match performance in his senior debut for Chelsea back in March 2020.
“Desire, the work ethic and intelligence, he [Gilmour] has all of that” Fabregas said of the teenager on Twitter.
Almost a year since his debut, Gilmour has now responded to the praise and opened up about how he has been trying to add Fabregas’ more direct play style to his game.
“He speaks a lot about the boys because he obviously used to be here, but it’s always nice seeing a top midfielder like that comment on your game,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“When I was watching Cesc, it was all about his forward passes to the striker, whether that was a lofted pass, a clipped ball, or just a simple through ball,” he added.
“He was one of the best at doing that, especially at Chelsea.
“And I want to add that more to my own game, but it comes first of all from being aware of what’s around you.”
You could tell that Gilmour has been trying to dictate the game like Fabregas on the pitch.
The 19-year-old has not had many opportunities to play this season after missing out on the first few months due to a knee injury.
But when he is on the pitch, the ball transitions from the defence to the attack just seem faster.
Gilmour averaged 7.27 passes into the final third per 90 minutes in the Champions League this season, second-best at Chelsea after Mason Mount (FBRef).
To put it into perspective, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho averaged 5.77 and 5.37, respectively,
With Kante suspended for Saturday’s trip to Fulham, it could be an opportunity for Gilmour to make his first league start this season.