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Gary Neville has hailed Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour and believes he is the type of player that England are missing at Euro 2020.
The 20-year-old starred for Scotland during Friday night’s scoreless draw against Gareth Southgate’s side and was hugely influential from the centre of midfield.
Gilmour was making his first start at senior level for Scotland in the match and put in a starring role for Steve Clarke’s side.
It was an impressive night for Gilmour, who – alongside the more experienced midfield pair of Callum McGregor and John McGinn – ousted the England midfield, which was anchored by Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice, with Mason Mount higher up the pitch.
Billy Gilmour put in a Man of the Match performance in Scotland's draw against England on Friday
(Image: DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
England’s below-par performance has been heavily scrutinised following on from the match due to a lack of attacking cohesion – managing just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.
That was influenced by the side’s lack of control in the centre of the park, with Rice and Phillips both anchoring the midfield and providing a shield to the back four, but also restricting attacking intent.
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Whilst there have been calls for Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund to be considered for a starting role, the England squad is lacking in forward-thinking central midfield players.
Gilmour’s sterling performance ensured that he was crowned man of the match and Neville believes that he is the sort of player that the Three Lions need to exert more control on games.
That may raise a few eyebrows as England’s opening day win over Croatia saw a hugely impressive performance from Leeds midfielder Phillips, who stood out in attacking play as much as his defensive duties.
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Indeed, Phillips provided the run and clever pass for Raheem Sterling to score England’s only goal of the tournament so far.
That has not been enough to change Neville’s mind, who insists that whilst Phillips is an impressive player, he is not quite at the same technical level as Gilmour.
Neville told ITV Sport : “He came into a cup game against Liverpool in his first game [for Chelsea ] and he was brilliant.
“His temperament is fantastic, he accepts the ball, watching those clips, it’s a sobering experience for England.
“Gilmour, McGinn and McGregor were better on the ball than England midfield players but not just that, Tierney, Hanley and McTominay at the back were better on the ball passing it into midfield, Stones, Mings, Rice and Phillips struggled to get that build-up play right last night (Friday).
“Gilmour was always available, England don’t have that player.
“People might point at Kalvin Phillips but he is not as good on the ball, at accepting the ball, as Gilmour. Technically, he’s a little bit better.”
Gilmour broke into Chelsea’s first-team squad initially under former boss Frank Lampard, but made three successive Premier League starts in early May – making Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI against Manchester City, Fulham and Arsenal.