BILLY GILMOUR was tipped to go on and star for Barcelona before he had even kicked a ball for Rangers.

And Kevin Thomson reckons now is his time to shine for Scotland as he prepares to make his Euros debut this summer.

Gilmour would make the move to Chelsea before he got the chance to pull on the jersey of his boyhood heroes at Ibrox.

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But his gamble has paid off in stunning fashion and the midfielder is now reaping the rewards of his belief and his work ethic for club and country.

Thomson told the Essential Scottish Football podcast: "Billy is an absolute baller. I just buzz off watching him and he is another one whose brain just ticks so much faster than everybody else's.

"How he manipulates the ball, he is not overly big but he looks like he is getting stronger and wider and his legs look like he is getting bulkier every time I see him on the telly. I know from following him on social media and seeing him that he is always working hard.

"I did a bit of due diligence on him when in there. Why was Billy Gilmour so good? All the feedback was that you could turn your back and he was at it.

"Some people, you turn your back and the workrate goes down if you're not there but he is a testament to hard work. Massive talent.

"Kenny Miller told me he is good enough to play for Barcelona, which is a massive statement. That is how he thought, even at 15 when he trained with the Rangers first team, Kenny thought he was one of the best players.

"That tells you the talent that the boy has got. If he can get that accolade off somebody as high as I hold Kenny Miller in regard that tells you the boy is a massive talent.

Glasgow Times: Billy Gilmour

"He is another one, like Nathan. I love young talent and love to see them.

"Kevin Thomson wishing him all the best won't mean much to him but I managed to get him to do the KTA Challenge right enough!

"So he obviously knows who I am. I will be delighted if he goes and shows everyone how good a player he is."