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Chelsea’s teenage sensation Gilmour admits to modelling game on Barcelona icon Iniesta

15:12 WAT 13/03/2020
Andres Iniesta Barcelona 2017-18
The 18-year-old Scot is enjoying a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge, with recognition in west London coming much sooner than he anticipated

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour has revealed that he models his game on that of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.

Comparisons between the two are easy to make, given that both operate in the middle of the park.

Neither are there to make headlines, with their roles in the engine room intended to make life easier for those around them.

Ball retention and creativity is the order of the day when it comes to players of Iniesta’s ilk, with the World Cup winner assured of a place in history as one of the very best when it comes to that skill set.

Gilmour hopes that he can one day follow in the illustrious footsteps of a Barca great, with the 18-year-old showing early promise at Stamford Bridge.

He has burst onto the scene as the latest teenage sensation in British football and is prepared to set the bar high when it comes to playing style.

Quizzed by BBC Sport as to who his idols are, Gilmour said: “It was always Iniesta.

“I just loved the way he played, how he got the ball, passing the ball.”

Chelsea believe that they have unearthed a talent cut from the same cloth as Iniesta.

Gilmour admits to boasting many of the same qualities, with the Scotland Under-21 international showcasing his flair, passing ability and penchant for a tackle across his senior outings.

“I like to get on the ball, drop deep a lot and create play, he said.

“I’ve always been told to work hard and everything else will fall in place.”

Two Man of the Match outings have been taken in by Gilmour across FA Cup and Premier League competition in meetings with Liverpool and Everton.

He is up to seven competitive first-team outings for the season and admits that he did not expect a rise to prominence to be as meteoric as it has been.

The talented teenager added on breaking into Frank Lampard’s plans: “No I never expected it at all.

“I thought I was going to be in the U23s all season, but I went with the first team in pre-season and did really well.

“We came back and I was training with them a lot, and then the gaffer put me in the squad for the Sheffield [United] game. I was buzzing!”

Gilmour made his Premier League bow against the Blades on August 31, 2019.

A first start was taken in when facing Grimsby in the Carabao Cup, before a full debut was made in the English top-flight when making Lampard’s XI for a home date with Everton.