It seemed almost no one of a Rangers persuasion was happy to endorse Billy Gilmour’s big break at Chelsea.
Although the then-15-year-old was advised against leaving his Auchenhowie academy by fans, pundits and the media alike, many of whom referenced the sorry tale of Islam Feruz, the one-time wonderkid who drifted into obscurity after leaving Celtic for Chelsea before his 16t birthday.
The early signs, however, suggest that Gilmour is unlikely to follow in Feruz’ footsteps and spend his formative years enduring a never-ending series of loan spells all across the continent.
Gilmour has adjusted to life very well at Chelsea, producing a number of impressive cameo performances in the UEFA Youth League and also scoring the odd sublime goal for the reserves in the last few weeks.
Billy is doing well. I’m really impressed with him,” Chelsea coach Jody Morris told the Daily Record.
“Not just as a footballer, but his personality and character is something that is standing out at the minute. The boy is not only a good kid, but someone who wants to learn and he wants to play at the very top.
“So he’s going to give himself the best chance if he carries on with that attitude.”
As we are all aware no young player has broke into Chelsea’s first-team and sealed their place since John Terry back in the late ‘90s. But there’s no reason why Gilmour, a truly elite talent with the down-to-earth attitude to match, cannot break the mould.
Then all those who claimed he was throwing away his career by leaving Rangers may be served up a hearty slice of humble pie.