Mateo Kovacic backs Scotland starlet Billy Gilmour to be a star for Chelsea in the future: ‘He’s definitely going to be one of the better players’
Mateo Kovacic has tipped Billy Gilmour to become a key component of Chelsea’s midfield in the future.
The two Stamford Bridge team-mates were due to go head-to-head at Hampden earlier this week before Gilmour was ruled out by a positive Covid test.
Kovacic called the 20-year-old to send his best wishes before helping Croatia to a 3-1 win that ended Scotland’s Euros involvement.
Mateo Kovacic has backed his team-mate Billy Gilmour to be a star for Chelsea in the future
Kovacic called Gilmour after the Scotland midfielder tested positive for coronavirus
Gilmour’s earlier stand-out display against England has raised the number of Premier League clubs – including newly promoted Norwich City – who are keen to take him on loan next season.
While that might be the next stage in the gifted youngster’s development, Kovacic is convinced Gilmour has everything it takes to then become established at Chelsea.
‘Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to play against Billy but I did talk with him on the phone as soon as it came out that he was positive,’ said Kovacic.
‘Of course I was very sad about that because he is doing excellently and he is my team-mate. I felt sad for him.
Gilmour earned much praise for his performance as Scotland drew against England
‘He has had an excellent season and his qualities cannot even be brought into question.
‘He is still a young player but he has played a lot of good matches for Chelsea and for his national team.
‘He is definitely going to be one of the better players for Chelsea and an important player for Chelsea in the near future.’
Previously with Dinamo Zagreb, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Kovacic firmly believes Gilmour has the mindset to thrive at the top.
‘I don’t give him too much advice, but we do talk a lot,’ added the 27-year-old. ‘I mean, we are together every day at our club.
‘I have seen Billy’s abilities from the first time he started training with the first team. He can become a really excellent player, so it is up to him to work hard and to get better with each day. I am sure that, with his personality, he is going to do that.’