Gilmour warned over life in academies
MALKY MACKAY, the SFA performance director, has revealed he’s offered advice to young Rangers player Billy Gilmour’s family about his future this summer.
And he’s hinted he thinks Gilmour would be better off staying at Ibrox.
Gilmour, one of Scotland’s top hopes for the future, has been strongly linked with a £350,000 move to Chelsea this summer.
But new Rangers head coach Pedro Caixinha has personally spoken to the 15-year-old to try to persuade him to stay at Ibrox.
Mackay has been impressed by the Scotland Under-16 powerful playmaker and while he insists he never gets involved in club transfers, he’s warned Gilmour he could get lost if he goes to a big club with a huge academy.
He said: “Billy can have his pick in the summer and I had a conversation with his dad. I was asked to give him my experience as a player and coach in the past.
“But it’s about the pathway – the quicker you can test yourself against men, the better. To be tucked into an academy with 20 other international class teenagers, what chance are you going to get?
“I won’t tell any club’s players what to do. It was just about my experiences.
“At Watford, Ashley Young could have left at a young age but didn’t, he opted to stay. Just three years later, Aston Villa came back to buy him for £9 million before he moved to Manchester United. That was opposed to him going into a youth team set-up with 25 other reserves, 25 out on loan and 25 first team players.
“He’d have had to go through that just to get a foot on the ladder.
“And I always give the example of Tom Cleverley at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson. He was seen as a top prospect and Fergie had a four-year plan for him. He put him to Leicester in League One then I got him in the Championship at Watford. Then he went to Wigan in the Premier League. The following year, he played more than 20 games of league football. He was tearing up the divisions as a young star.
“There was a plan there and that’s what has to happen.”
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