Billy Gilmour has revealed the words of encouragement Frank Lampard gave him before his breakthrough performance for Chelsea against Liverpool last month.
The 18-year-old Scottish midfielder wowed fans and pundits alike with a mature performance against the European champions, looking every inch a first-team player as the Blues knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win.
Gilmour had made his Premier League debut against Sheffield United in August, but the prospect of starting against a side he called “the best team in the world” could have been a daunting one for the youngster.
"Leading up to the games, I was always thinking about what I'm going to do," Gilmour told Sky Sports. "When the gaffer spoke to me, he said, 'Go out and play your own game'. That gives you a lot of confidence to go out and do what you love.
"Playing in the game, there were parts that I felt were difficult but when I got on the ball, I felt good. I had players running off, so it was making it easy for me.
"It was a great, great game so I was happy to play well, and then receiving the man of the match, it was amazing.
“I never thought of it, I just wanted to play the game well, not muck up anything, and play the game right. To get first-team experience against Liverpool, the best team in the world right now, felt good."
Gilmour’s assured performance against Liverpool, followed up with another good display in a 4-0 win over Everton shortly after, have Chelsea and Scotland fans eager to find out just how good he can become.
As a youngster, Gilmour says he looked beyond the obvious examples of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, to the likes of former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas as he honed his own game.
"When I was young I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - everyone did,” he explained. “But when I started to analyse my game and think about who I would like to progress to be like, it was more like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas - it was those players.
"It was something about how they passed the ball, receiving the ball, everything was sharp. Sergio Busquets too; when you watch Barcelona and you watch Busquets individually, everything happens around him.
"Those are the kind of players I looked up to, getting on the ball and making things happen."