Billy Gilmour has revealed his footballing influences with the Chelsea youngster naming Andres Iniesta and Xavi amongst the players he studied and ‘looked up to’.
Gilmour’s mature displays at the heart of Frank Lampard’s midfield have drawn praise from pundits and earned comparisons with former stars, and the Scot has revealed the players who influenced him during his younger years.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Gilmour said: “When I was young I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – everyone did. But when I started to analyse my game and think about who I would like to progress to be like, it was more like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas – it was those players.
“It was something about how they passed the ball, receiving the ball, everything was sharp. Sergio Busquets too; when you watch Barcelona and you watch Busquets individually, everything happens around him.
“Those are the kind of players I looked up to, getting on the ball and making things happen.”
Speaking further on his performance during the 2-0 cup victory over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder admitted he relished the opportunity to test himself against last season’s Champions League winners and the current league leaders.
“Leading up to the games, I was always thinking about what I’m going to do,” he said. “When the gaffer spoke to me, he said; ‘Go out and play your own game’, that gives you a lot of confidence to go out and do what you love.
“Playing in the game [against Liverpool], there were parts that I felt were difficult, but when I got on the ball I felt good. I had players running off, so it was making it easy for me.
“It was a great, great game so I was happy to play well. And then receiving the man of the match, it was amazing. I never thought of it, I just wanted to play the game well, not muck up anything, and play the game right.
“To get first-team experience against Liverpool, the best team in the world right now, felt good.”