Frank Lampard has responded to Roy Keane’s praise of Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour and has compared the teenager for former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.
The Chelsea academy graduate made a huge impression after being handed an opportunity in the first-team last month, being named Man of the Match during the club’s FA Cup win over Liverpool before starring on his full Premier League debut against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Gilmour’s impressive performances led to uncharacteristic praise from the notoriously difficult-to-please Keane, the Irishman speaking glowingly of the youngster following his breakthrough displays.
Speaking on Gilmour last month, Keane said: “I was sitting at home with a cup of tea and a bit of chocolate in front of me and I didn’t have the volume on. When the game started I got out of my seat, which I rarely do and I thought: ‘Who is this kid?'”
Lampard admitted to being surprised at hearing the former Manchester United captain openly praise Gilmour, but has urged the young Scot to continue to build on his impressive start as he bids to establish himself as a key figure at the west London side.
“I had to put my cup of tea down to hear Roy say something nice! Only joking, Roy Keane was a fantastic midfield player and probably won’t give credit unless it’s due, and it was due,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
"I didn't have the volume on. I didn't want to listen to the commentators." 🤣
A jovial Roy Keane is full of praise for Chelsea's 18-year-old Billy Gilmour…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 8, 2020
“I think Roy is right, I think he’s spot on, and Billy should be happy with that. He won’t go far wrong following something that a midfield player like Roy Keane says.
“Billy came with the right attitude and attributes, and a lot of that has to come from within. In terms of the basics, Billy has them, and that’s a great platform to build such a brilliant career.”
Lampard added to Keane’s praise with his own plaudits for the abilities of the young midfielder, likening Gilmour to former England teammate Paul Scholes for his ability to ‘pick the right pass’ and says the teenager has all the attributes to build a ‘fantastic career’.
“Paul Scholes is obviously one of the greatest midfield players I’ve played against in the Premier League,” Lampard added.
“He would always pick the right pass, he had incredible range. If you did try and jump from midfield and get to him and get close to him he’d just play it around the corner because he knew you were coming.
“Billy has shown early signs of that kind of ability.
“I’m not comparing him to Scholesy, no way at all, but in terms of those basics that you mentioned, then Billy certainly has them and that’s a great platform to build hopefully a fantastic career.”