Graeme Souness says national team should be built around Chelsea playmaker for next decade

Graeme Souness has heaped praises on Billy Gilmour’s latest international display as he highlighted the young midfielder’s ability to operate in tight spaces.

The 20-year-old was named man of the match for his performance in a dream full debut in Scotland’s draw with England on Friday.

It should be obvious at this point that Gilmour is such an incredible talent.

But Souness believes the former Rangers academy product should not only be a starter for Scotland, but a player to “build around”.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“If Billy Gilmour were English, he’d be in Gareth Southgate’s side for Tuesday’s match against the Czech Republic,” the former Scotland international told The Times.

“Factor in that last night at Wembley was his first start for Scotland, that he hasn’t played much for Chelsea this season and that he’s still only 20, then that was as good as it gets for a competitive debut.

“He has a lovely habit of passing to the same colour of shirt. The only thing missing from him was getting the winning goal.

“Scotland have found a playmaker to build around for the next decade, a proper footballer who can keep the ball in tight areas and doesn’t give it away, which is a wonderful thing to have as a midfielder.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Chronicle view

His playmaking ability aside, Gilmour has also really improved defensively and grown into an all-round player. He never seems hesitant to get into duels.

Obviously, he often comes off second-best in these duels due to his small build, but that is something that should improve as he gets older and spends more time in the gym.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.