Former Scotland international Pat Nevin believes Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour is ready to make his senior international debut.

The 18-year-old was handed a start for the Blues in the FA Cup on Tuesday night against Liverpool by Frank Lampard, and seized his opportunity with both hands.

Gilmour was superb in central midfield and was heavily involved for the hosts.

Gilmour starred against Liverpool on Tuesday (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The ex-Rangers youngster had 62 touches, five tackles, once chance created and two take-ons in the match according to Squawka, and one particular piece of skill in the second half left Reds enforcer Fabinho looking rather silly, much to Twitter’s enjoyment.

It was a very promising performance from the starlet, and one that has convinced Nevin he is ready to make an impact for Steve Clarke at international level.

He said (BBC Sport): “Clarke has watched Billy come through all the youth levels.

“So it’s not a shock to him – he’s been waiting for it, almost wishing it would happen quicker because he wants top-class players.

Nevin predicts the youngster will thrive for Scotland (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“Some do well domestically then find it’s a technical step up to international football. But I have a suspicion that Billy will be even better at international level than the domestic stage.

“When you look at a player who has those technical abilities, a field of vision and 360 awareness that he’s got, the confidence and comfort on the ball that he’s got, that’s international player writ large.”

Gilmour Scotland debut surely imminent

Gilmour’s display against arguably the best side in Europe this season should have Scotland fans very excited.

There is already a brilliant crop of central midfielders for the national team, such as Callum McGregor, Ryan Jack, John McGinn and Scott McTominay, but it surely won’t be too long until Gilmour gets his chance, especially if Clarke has been a keen observer of the player so far as Nevin says.

The Tartan Army take on Israel in their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final on March 26, and it remains to be seen if he sneaks into the squad.

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