Scotland boss Steve Clarke has thrown cold water over any notion Chelsea talent Billy Gilmour will be in the senior Scots squad anytime soon.
The ex-Chelsea coach has selected his squad to take on Russia and San Marino, with Gilmour’s name excluded from the list. After making his senior Blues debut this season, he was a potential candidate for a senior debut.
Clarke has said that he isn’t very ‘close’ to senior international recognition yet.
He told the Scotland YouTube channel: “Probably not as close as people would think.
“Listen, Billy’s an exceptional talent, an exceptional young talent, and we have to give the young players time to grow and develop.
“I think the best place for them to do that is in Scott’s Under 21 team. There are a lot of good boys down there.
Gilmour is being developed carefully by Scotland
Clarke is clearly wary of lumping too much pressure on Gilmour too soon. Having just made his senior debut at Stamford Bridge, he’s still adapting to life as a senior professional.
Gilmour is a regular at youth level and he’ll continue to develop there. By the sounds of things, the Blues talent won’t be near the senior national side anytime soon.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Both Chelsea and Scotland could be working closely to make sure they don’t burn Gilmour out by exposing him to lots of senior football when perhaps he’s still slightly undercooked.
Gilmour hasn’t been selected by Scotland this time around, but rest assured, his day will come.