Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sir Kenny Dalglish: Billy Gilmour’s promotion to the Chelsea first-team is the kind of news Steve Clarke needs to hear

© Matthew Impey/Shutterstock Billy Gilmour contests possession with Manchester United’s Scott McTominay. Could they be playing together for Scotland in the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel next month?
Billy Gilmour contests possession with Manchester United’s Scott McTominay. Could they be playing together for Scotland in the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel next month?

Billy Gilmour has every right to feel as proud as punch at being promoted on a permanent basis into the Chelsea first-team squad.

The 18-year-old midfielder has clearly worked ever so hard to improve his game in the past couple of years, and it has paid dividends.

There may well have been one or two eyebrows raised when he decided to leave Rangers to move to Stamford Bridge when he was just 15 years old.

Some would have said that the move was too quick for him, and he would have been better served staying at Ibrox, learning his trade, and that a first-team opportunity would have arrived quicker.

There is no doubt it was a sore one for Rangers to lose such a precious young talent, and the club did everything in their power to keep him.

But Billy had to do what he felt was right for him, and you have to say it has all worked out very well so far.

He has already played a handful of games in Frank Lampard’s team, and the fact the club had a transfer ban on them last year would have been beneficial for him.

However, he would still have had to work hard to develop his talent.

Clearly, he has, because you do not get into the Chelsea first-team unless it’s fully merited.

Frank and his coaching staff have identified the young Scots’ talent, and they have been nurturing it in the right way.

For that, the Blues’ staff deserve plenty of credit.

Now Billy is in the first-team dressing room every day, and he can only benefit from being beside these guys all the time.

We will all be keeping an eye on how the kid progresses in the next four months, and I really hope he continues to shine and improve.

Steve Clarke will also be delighted. This is the kind of news he needs to hear.

I have no idea if Steve will include Billy in the Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel next month. That will be down to Steve and his staff to assess every player available to him and take it from there.

But Steve will get full insight into Billy as he is a former Chelsea player and also coached Frank Lampard.

I’m sure if Steve thinks young Gilmour can be an asset to the squad, then he will be included.

Age will not be a barrier. It comes down to ability and mentality.

It’s getting to that stage where Billy and every Scottish player will be under scrutiny in the build-up to that crucial game at Hampden on March 26.

Can John McGinn and Scott McTominay recover from their injuries to make comebacks at club level in the next two or three weeks?

If they are back playing and can get a game or two under their belts before the Israel game, what a boost that would be.

There is also John Fleck playing very well for Sheffield United.

He was another young talent who burst on to the scene at Rangers a decade ago, and was tipped for massive things.

He left Ibrox to go down south, first on loan to Blackpool then a permanent move to Coventry City.

Now he has really found his feet under Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane, and has blossomed into a fine midfielder, finally earning full Scotland recognition.

There is no doubt he can handle international football, and he can be relied upon to do a sterling job.

Steve has options in the midfield and forward areas.

Stevie Naismith is back playing regular football for Hearts, and that is a real plus point.

And the return to form and scoring goals for Leigh Griffiths at Celtic is also a timely boost.

The big-game experience and mentality of Stevie and Leigh could prove to be priceless for the national team next month.

There is also the likes of Robert Snodgrass to look at. I know he retired from international football last year, but he is in good form at West Ham.

Maybe that’s a situation that can be revisited and maybe it’s worth asking the question?

Without getting carried away, Steve must be fairly pleased with the form of a number of his players at club level.

It will be getting to that stage where he will be assessing everyone and everything very closely.

There hasn’t been an international game since November, and Steve will be desperate to get his players all together again.

He, and the rest of us, can only keep our fingers crossed that none of the players pick up any injuries in the next few weeks, and that as many as possible report fit and healthy for the game against Israel.

We all hope that there is also a second game to play, away from home against either Norway or Serbia.

For sure, the excitement is building up.

It might be winter and it may be freezing outside, but I can feel the temperature rising!