Billy Gilmour tests positive for COVID-19, to miss Scotland's Euro 2020 match against Croatia

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour has tested positive for COVID-19. The news was announced by the Scottish FA on Monday.

Billy Gilmour won the Man of the Match for his display in Scotland's Euro 2020 match vs England. (Image: Twitter)
By Shayne Dias | Jun 21, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Scotland’s promising young midfielder Billy Gilmour has tested positive for COVID-19. The news was announced by the Scottish FA on Monday (June 21). This comes as a huge blow for Steve Clarke’s men ahead of their Euro 2020 match against Croatia. Gilmour put in a wonderful performance during their 0-0 draw vs England. But he will now have to isolate for 10 days due to the positive test. As a result, he will miss the team’s final group game.

“The Scottish FA can confirm that a member of the Scotland National Team playing squad, Billy Gilmour, has tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement from the Scottish FA read.

“Having liaised with Public Health England since the positive test was recorded, Billy will now self-isolate for 10 days and therefore miss tomorrow’s UEFA EURO 2020 Group D match against Croatia at Hampden.”

It’s worth noting that there is no information on whether he came in close contact with any other player. If he did, that player would also have to self-isolate for a given time period.

But what is known is that Gilmour will now have to spend at least 10 days in his own room. Even after he recovers, it remains to be seen how long it will be before he gets back to full fitness.

How big a miss is Billy Gilmour for Scotland?

A massive one. Gilmour brings something different to the Scotland midfield. His silky passing, good reading of the game and preparedness to take risks going forward make him a valuable cog in any midfield.

However, an underrated trait possessed by Gilmour is his tenacity. He is not just a very good footballer, he’s also extremely hard working.

That he can combine his smooth technical ability with industry aplenty was evident against England. He made more passes than any of his teammates and had more ball recoveries than any player on the field.

What’s more, Gilmour’s calmness in any situation means he wilfully takes risks that players 10 years his senior might not. He looks to collect the ball in dangerous positions and drive forward – either with a take-on or a pass.

What’s more, his passing is often progressive – he isn’t a recycler of possession like club teammate Mateo Kovacic, for example. And again, it must be reiterated that he’s only 20 years old.

But Gilmour’s potential isn’t just down to his ability – it’s also a matter of the fact that he’s a thinking footballer who doesn’t let the occasion faze him.

It’s telling that he has received four Man of the Match awards so far – and all came on debut. His FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League debut all saw him get the MoTM honour. Now he did it for Scotland too.

What do Scotland do to qualify for next round?

Scotland need a minor miracle if they are to qualify for the next round. Not only must they beat Croatia, they must do it by a significant margin.

The Scots are currently rooted to the bottom of the table in Group D. Just a win against Croatia isn’t enough, since their current goal difference is -2. No, they will need a win that ideally makes their goal difference positive.

Croatia have been underwhelming in this campaign, yet know a win against Scotland would keep them third. And given their goal difference is marginally better (-1), there isn’t as much pressure on them.

Still, it is a massive fall from grace for a side that, just three years ago, were World Cup finalists and runners-up.

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