MALKY MACKAY believes Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour will be the 'player of the next generation' for Scotland.

The 18-year-old has quickly risen to prominence under the guidance for Blues boss Frank Lampard this season and has been touted for a call-up to the national squad for the Euro 2022 play-off clash with Israel.

Gilmour looks set to be included in the Under-21 group as Scot Gemmill's side set get set to face Croatia and Greece in qualifiers this month.

But Mackay, the Scottish FA Performance Director, is confident the former Rangers kid will go on to shine under the guidance of Scotland boss Steve Clarke in the coming years.

"That is purely up to Steve, not for me to go anywhere near," Mackay said of a potential call-up to the full squad.

"I know that we have a youngster who will become the player of the next generation for Scotland. The player.

"Steve regularly speaks to myself and Scot Gemmill concerning the players and he has obviously been to watch him.

"I am also conscious that we have a jam-packed midfield of talented players in Scotland, by far our strongest area.

"I am not going to tag him with any name but I can only say I have been excited about him since he was 16. He is a player of the next generation.

"We had a chat with the staff and said Christian Eriksen played for Denmark at 18 and we have a kid that has the potential to be a top, top player.

"There is some good talent coming through now but I have not seen someone like him for years."

Gilmour made his first Premier League start in the win over Everton on Sunday.

He has earned praise for making demands of his more illustrious team-mates on the park and Mackay said: "I noticed that in the Carabao Cup a couple of months ago at Old Trafford. There was a point when he got the ball, gave it to Kurt Zouma and screamed at him and pointed wide where he should play the ball and Zouma played the ball there.

"Again, over the last two weeks, you see that is part of his game. It is something that he does regularly in our (Scotland youth) games because he is dictating the game.

"But to actually do it to experienced full internationals and the fact that they are responding to it isn't really a surprise because they are training with him every day and when you train with really good players, that respect comes quickly."