Charlie Nicholas has provided a damning view of what the future may hold for Billy Gilmour's Scotland career.

The Sky Sports pundit said the Chelsea starlet "could end up becoming the next Barry Bannan" if he does not improve on the international stage.

It has often been on the international stage where the Ardrossan youngster has shone brightest, since starring against England in the nation's 0-0 draw at Euro 2020.

READ MORE: Billy Gilmour: Ardrossan midfielder starts for Scotland at Wembley

Gilmour has been an ever present when fit and available since breaking through at Scotland's first major international tournament in 22 years.

In a scathing review written for the Scottish Daily Express about Scotland's World Cup playoff semi-final defeat to Ukraine, Nicholas was highly critical of Gilmour's game, comparing his potential career trajectory to that of former Scotland international and current Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Bannan.

He said: "Billy Gilmour is a talented player but if he is not careful he could end up becoming the next Barry Bannan.

"Gilmour is a tidy footballer but he has to offer more and we need to stop making him out to be our saviour. He struggled in the play-off because he didn't get on the ball enough - and when he did it was square pass, square pass.

"Let's hope he can make a greater impact than Bannan - another physically small midfielder who did OK for a few seasons but failed to hit the heights everyone hoped."

Gilmour wasn't the only Three Towns man on the end of criticism from the former Celtic and Arsenal star, as he went on to lambast Saltcoats born manager Steve Clarke's team selection for the massive playoff match.

Nicholas continued: "Clarke made mistakes in terms of selection and the set-up and he needs to shoulder that responsibility.

"The players also have to take their share of the blame because they didn't perform on the night. There's no way Clarke would have instructed them to keep playing back to front and missing out the midfield.

"Between them they got it all wrong and we were well beaten.

"Aaron Hickey might have a decent right foot but he rarely plays at right wing-back and putting him in there was the wrong call.

"That wasn't the first time Clarke has started a player on his weaker side.

"He did the same with Kieran Tierney early in his Scotland reign and that didn't work either.

"Why couldn't he have played Stuart Armstrong or Ryan Christie at right wing-back?

"With his starting line-up, Clarke handed the initiative to Ukraine before a ball was even kicked."