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'I had that talk, it didn't work!' - Gilmour rejected my advice and is on Foden's career path, says ex-Scotland boss Strachan

08:56 BST 14/06/2021
Billy Gilmour Phil Foden
The Blues youngster is following in the Manchester City forward's footsteps by ignoring calls to go on loan and develop with a world class side

Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan says a young Billy Gilmour rejected his career advice telling him to stay in Scotland before choosing a move to Chelsea.

As first reported by Goal, Chelsea won the race to sign Gilmour in 2017 among a host of superclubs ahead of his 16th birthday by offering him a pathway into their first-team.

Still just 19, the midfielder recently made his Scotland debut and has established himself as a senior player at his club, but Strachan admits that upon meeting Gilmour, he told him to stay at Rangers.

What he said?

"I remember meeting him when he came along to Scotland training," Strachan told Goal, speaking at Betfair’s Euro 2020 launch. "Everyone was asking me to have a word with him to keep him in Scotland. I had that talk and it didn’t work!

"I remember meeting him at Hampden as well and he was just a small, skinny wee lad, but he was determined to follow his own path, not what coaches were telling him. He was like at 15, right I am off to Chelsea.

"It can be scary. I had a chance to join Manchester United as a young boy and I joined Dundee at 16. Luckily, I got the chance again as a man. If you look at it, you can get to the top in many different ways. It is up to you how you go about it.

"There will be hurdles but you smash you way through it. Look at all these players like Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Andy Robertson and John McGinn, they all had different problems in their life but made it.

"Kane did it on loan, or be like Phil Foden and stay and watch the great players. He has become a brilliant footballer himself. There’s not a set way to get to the top."

What's Gilmour's next move?

Having started just five games for Thomas Tuchel, the exciting young midfielder will hope for more next season despite ending the season with a Champions League medal.

Golmour considered a loan move in January in a bid to make the Steve Clarke's squad for the European Championships, but Tuchel opted to keep him around despite an offer from Southampton. He got more games at the end of the season due to injuries to N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

His talents haven't got unnoticed by his rivals either, with England, Czech Republic and Croatia in his country's Euros group.

"He’s a great talent," Foden said when asked about Gilmour ahead of the international tournament. "He is still so young, still a lot to learn. I’ve played against him a few times and every time I’ve played against him I’ve been impressed. He is definitely going to be a great player in the future and he will be a great player for Scotland."

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