West Ham United manager David Moyes has showered praises on Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour, joking that he will opt for a swap deal if the Blues insist on getting their hands on Declan Rice.
The Hammers midfielder has been linked with returning to the club that released him as a schoolboy after breaking into the Three Lions squad, but West Ham aren’t looking to lose their prized asset anytime soon.
Moyes wouldn’t mind swapping Rice for Gilmour, though, admitting that the midfield prodigy is the one Scottish player he wishes he could sign tomorrow following his opening performances for Chelsea.
“The one [Scottish player] who if I could sign tomorrow I would is Billy Gilmour after his opening performances for Chelsea. He’s looked like a seasoned pro, he’s looked like somebody who’s hungry, who’s in love with the game,” the Hammers boss said on BBC Scotland’s Scottish football podcast.
“He’s typical of what my memories are of what Scottish players were like going back many, many years. We were always good players, really talented football players, and at the moment Billy Gilmour in the short period I’ve seen him has looked like that all day long. We need to start getting a Scottish national team that gives us some hope but he’s certainly a really talented looking player.
“I was laughing because I keep getting told that Chelsea want Declan Rice, so I thought well I might just decide I want Billy Gilmour and see how it goes.”
Gilmour, 18, has only made seven appearances for Chelsea, starting four times, but he has caught the eyes of everyone, with his FA Cup performance against Liverpool’s star-studded midfield highlighting his quality and huge potential.
He has been tipped to earn a call-up to the Scotland senior national team and is expected to be in their European Championship squad next year.