By Nick Ware

16th Jul, 2021 | 9:30pm

Neil Lennon cites Billy Gilmour-Rangers example in Scottish league fear

Neil Lennon believes the Rangers exit of Billy Gilmour in 2017 proves that Scottish clubs are always prone to losing their most talented players.

Gilmour was only 16 when he officially joined Chelsea four years ago, but he was long heralded as a potential Ibrox star.

However, he was lured away to England’s capital by the moneybag Blues and his recent performances against the Three Lions for the Tartan Army raised the issue once again.

Rangers were linked with a loan move for their former midfielder but Norwich City beat them to the punch, and Lennon spoke to talkSPORT [16/07/21] about young players in Scotland.

He said: “I just wanted to touch on a topic earlier Jim [White], talking about young players, one I missed out on was Billy Gilmour.

“He was at Rangers Academy for a long time and Chelsea took him at 15 and now he’s a first-team player and you saw what he could do against England, so sometimes you lose the quality early to the bigger clubs.”

Inevitable

It’s tempting to see Lennon talking about Rangers, particularly when unprompted, and think it’s a dig at the Gers.

It may well have been, but was probably also raising a very valid point in regards to the constant losses of talent, particularly those at a young age, who leave Scotland for pastures new.

Financial issues are always going to leave Scottish clubs at the peril of elite European giants, that’s just the nature of the beast.

Gilmour’s 2017 exit was a disappointment for many connected to the club, and his recent success exacerbates that pain.

Arguably, he would have been even further ahead in his development has he stayed in Glasgow, but he made his decision and it looks like it will eventually pay off for him.

In other Rangers news, Neil Lennon reacts as Jim White poses James Tavernier-Ibrox exit question.