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Danny Stewart: ‘Irn-Bru Iniesta’ Billy Gilmour could be just the tonic Clarke needs

© Craig Foy / SNS GroupBilly Gilmour
Billy Gilmour

It is one of the few pleasures of social media that new nicknames can be shared and enjoyed before the player concerned is even out of the shower.

Cesc Fabregas’ compliment to Billy Gilmour that he had “played amazing” for Chelsea in the 7-1 win over Grimsby Town in midweek might have got the most traffic.

But for smiles, it was hard to beat the fan who dubbed him the “Irn-Bru Iniesta.”

Context is everything.

The 18-year-old Scot’s Stamford Bridge debut came against fourth-tier opposition in the Carabao Cup.

It was a tie Chelsea were always likely to win. That they did so by a big margin was not a huge shock.

For manager Frank Lampard, in terms of picking an environment in which to ease a new face in, it was perfect.

The importance of placing things in context, however, equally applies to the tweet from Fabregas.

It was not by chance the World Cup winner chose to praise one of his former club’s teenage talents.

Rather, he was reacting with pleasure to the much-anticipated success of a prospect who had gone on record stating he spent an hour before training EVERY day, studying videos of Fabregas in action to improve his game.

While stories of such dedication are not unique, they do tend to come attached to sportsmen and women operating at the top of their chosen field.

Which is why Gilmour’s progress is a cause of such excitement to Scotland supporters, who have followed his smooth climb from the Under-15s to the brink of the senior squad.

The country already has a couple of crackerjack players.

Andy Robertson, a Champions League winner with Liverpool, is world class.

Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney, unfortunately another left-back, is a £25-million talent.

What we do not possess is a creative midfielder with the ability to unpick international defences through the quality and cunning of his distribution.

In short, a Cesc Fabregas type.

Frank Lampard stopped short of comparing Gilmour with the superstar Spaniard.

But it was significant that he highlighted his ability to pass the ball quickly between the lines.

Steve Clarke will know all that.

What he has to decide is whether the Euro 2020 tie against San Marino a fortnight today is the right time to introduce Gilmour.

With qualifying by the traditional route now all but impossible, and the need for a creative spark clear, all logic suggests it is.

Given the weakness of the opposition – the San Marinese concede an average of 4.3 goals per game – this is our Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town.

Who better to add fizz to a flat affair, and a support desperately in need of a pick-me-up to salve a hangover – than the kid tagged the Irn-Bru Iniesta?