Cesar Azpilicueta has claimed Billy Gilmour has a great future ahead of him and will be a very important asset to the club.
In an interview with the club website, the Chelsea captain was quick to acknowledge the youngster’s talents and continued by professing his happiness in seeing Gilmour do so well.
Azpilicueta was full of praise for the Scotsman, but also hailed the management team for showing confidence in such a prosperous youth academy.
‘He has a great future’
The Spanish international has been a great servant for the Blues since joining in 2012 from Marseille for just £8 million.
Over the years, Azpilicueta has proven himself as one of the most impressive defenders of this generation, showcasing his ability to play anywhere across the backline.
The 30-year-old has recently become a senior figure in the Blues setup since the departures of key figures such as Gary Cahil and John Terry.
The defender became the official club captain at the start of the 2018/19 season, having captained numerous games prior.
Being the captain of a Premier League football club holds great responsibility, one of which is to nurture academy prospects accordingly. Since Gilmour’s involvement with the first team, Azpilicueta has been on hand to guide the 18-year-old along the way.
“What I remember about [Gilmour] since the beginning is that he always wants to give solutions,” said Azpilicueta.
“He has a great personality and that’s why when he goes on the pitch, he always wants the ball. The level he showed against Liverpool was amazing: the composure he had, the way he played, the way he defended, he fought for every ball.
“It’s massive for us to have a player with this style of play. Now he has an opportunity and I am sure the way he played against Liverpool, and the way he behaves, he can be very important for us.
“He is still only 18 years old and he has a great future ahead of him. I am very pleased for him and now the only way he can go is improving every day.”
‘New players must show personality’
Azpilicueta has seen many a youngster come through the youth academy that has not had a desired impact on the first team. He insisted that young players coming into the team must show personality to make it.
“They need to express themselves without fear,” concluded the Spaniard.
“The same way they have been doing in the youth teams or on loan. When they come to our team, they have to show personality.
“They have to tell everybody they want the ball, because communication is key. They deserve to be here. I am very pleased they have this opportunity.
“They are the present and the future for the club. It’s important when they come through, they feel confident and they have belief in their game.
“The manager has shown great confidence in young players.”