‘Billyesta’ Gilmour no overnight success at Chelsea despite meteoric rise – Nevin

The former Blues winger is delighted to see a fellow Scot getting the recognition from “an entire nation” that his undoubted potential deserves

Billy Gilmour has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence, but Chelsea legend Pat Nevin says a midfielder being branded “Billyesta” by a new-found fan base is no “overnight success”.

As a fellow Scot, Nevin has been fully aware of the 18-year-old’s potential for some time.

Those at Stamford Bridge bought into that when luring an exciting talent way from his native Glasgow at Rangers.

It was always considered to be only a matter of time before Gilmour got a big break at senior level – although few could have predicted that it would come quite so soon, or that British football’s latest teenage sensation would make such a spectacular impact.

Nevin, though, is delighted to see a youngster who admits to having modelled his game on that of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta getting the recognition he deserves.

The former Blues winger told the club’s official website: “An entire nation seems to have woken up to the talent that our young Scottish midfielder has, since then that rise has been nothing short of meteoric.

“The plaudits are coming in not only from the pundits but from everywhere else. Chelsea fans, writers, former players and admirers from other clubs have not been slow to come forward.

“As with all overnight successes, it isn’t really overnight, Billy has been working a lifetime, albeit a pretty short one so far, building up to this moment.

“He never looked like fluffing his lines in front of a surprised, then intrigued and finally hugely impressed audience. He was Man of the Match against Liverpool and then carried on in precisely the same vein against Everton six days later.

“The Chelsea fan base is gobsmacked at this arrival and that is saying something considering we have enjoyed recent breakthroughs from Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and well, you know the rest of the list.

“Billy has got a new nickname already in Billyesta, the chants have started with his name, some of us are already suggesting he should be added to the full Scotland national team squad, me included.

“Every newspaper, football website and commentator has been purring over his performances. This is just one week after many football fans outside Chelsea might have reasonably said, Billy who?

“The good news is that Billy will get huge amounts of backing from everyone if and when there is a little dip or an injury. I know this because listening to Frank [Lampard] he totally understands everything all the youngsters are going through and is hugely supportive.

“Talking to Billy, he feels confident that not only the gaffer and the back room staff have his back but the players are incredibly supportive to.”

Gilmour’s progress has been stunted by the postponement of all English and European football during the coronavirus outbreak, but he will be as determined as anyone to hit the ground running once competitive action resumes.