Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour has been sent off in bizarre fashion for Scotland’s Under-21 side this evening.
Gilmour, 19, was making his first appearance in over four months after undergoing knee surgery over the summer.
The Blues midfielder came off the bench after an hour of Scotland U21’s European Championship qualifier against Croatia, with Billy Stark’s men trailing 2-1 at the time of his introduction.
Connor McLennan soon netted the equaliser in the 70th minute, yet 60 seconds later Gilmour was sent off for what looked a bookable offence at most.
As Croatia’s Nikola Moro tried to get away with the ball, he appeared to shoulder barge the midfielder in an attempt to win back possession.
But to everyone’s amazement, the referee reached for his pocket and brandished him a straight red card.
It remains to be seen whether Gilmour was dismissed for foul and abusive language, as replays show him initially protesting the referee’s decision to award a foul.
Though having only entered the field seven minutes before the incident, it would have taken an extremely foul-mouthed outburst from the soft-spoken star to be deemed worthy of a sending off.
Gilmour burst onto the scene at Chelsea last season, making 11 appearances under Frank Lampard and producing man-of-the-match displays in wins over Liverpool and Everton.
Roy Keane even branded the Scot “world class” following his display against Jurgen Klopp’s eventual Premier League champions.
He sustained a serious knee injury in the Blues’ 3-2 win over Crystal Palace in July, nevertheless, and has not been in action for them since.
Lampard issued a positive update on Gilmour’s fitness last month, saying: ‘Billy’s working really well, he’s probably three weeks away from his return.
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“He’s working outside on his own with the physios still, we hope that he’ll integrate with either ourselves or the Under-23s to get some training minutes.
“So hopefully three or four weeks, probably the other side of the next international break all being well.”
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