In light of 15-year-old Billy Gilmour signing for Chelsea’s youth team from Rangers, FootyOn pick out a list of Scottish wonderkid flops he’ll hope to avoid emulating.
Scottish wonderkid flops
The Blues have a recent history of signing a whole host of young stars, but ship them out on loan rather than giving them a chance in their own first-team which in turn tends to stagnate them.
While, Scotland have produced a number of promising starlets over the years, though again some have not quite lived up to the hype.
Will the same fate to happen to teenage Scot Gilmour?
Read on to see our list of Scottish wonderkid flops to date…
Starting off very close to home for Gilmour, Chelsea actually currently have a former Scottish wonderkid of their own in striker Feruz.
Born in Somalia, and eligible to represent Tanzania and non-FIFA member Zanzibar too, he was raised in Scotland and has played for all of their youth teams.
While on the books of Celtic, diminutive Feruz attracted a lot of interest and excitement – playing in youth teams well above his age.
Despite having a questionable attitude, Chelsea came swooping for him in 2011 but have sent him out on loan five times.
Feruz failed to score during any of those, and now aged 21 he still has a lot to prove if he’s to ever make it in the game.
It might be unfair to put Gauld on this list, as he’s only 21 too and currently at one of the most famed clubs for producing top talent – Sporting Lisbon.
However, it hasn’t quite worked out for him so far, as the former Dundee United attacker has spent the majority of his time in their B team.
He did spend a spell with fellow Primeira Liga outfit Vitoria de Setubal this season, but has since been called back after a controversial dispute.
At Gauld’s age too, he should really have earned a full Scotland cap by now.
Perhaps being compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Kenny Dalglish hasn’t helped, but he still has time to reach the top, especially away from the spotlight in Portugal.
Fleck, 25, is a bit further on in his career than the above duo, but at one stage was even described as ‘Scotland’s Wayne Rooney’, after making his first-team debut for Rangers in 2007 aged just 15, albeit in a friendly.
He started to play more regularly over the next five seasons, but a reported fallout with then boss Ally McCoist coincided with drips in form.
After Rangers went bust in 2012 too, Fleck decided against have his contract transferred to the new company and instead joined League One outfit Coventry City.
It might have seemed a promising move at that stage of his career back then, to gain regular first-team football and perhaps treat them as a stepping stone.
Instead, Fleck initially struggled to get in the side and spent a largely unimposing tenure with them for four seasons in total.
His move to Sheffield United last summer seemed to finally unearth more of his initial talent, as his four goals and 17 assists from central midfield helped the Blades to win League One.
Could playing in the Championship next season finally earn Fleck Scotland caps?
Another Rangers youth player, Wilson left Ibrox a couple years before they went into administration.
Again, comparisons with other players perhaps went to his head, as he was likened to a young Alan Hansen after captaining the club’s Under-19s team.
Although the same age of Fleck, he broke into the Rangers first-team slightly later in 2009, and his performances that season earned him a move to Liverpool – to follow Hansen’s path.
Wilson made his Reds debut early in his maiden Anfield campaign, but it didn’t quite work out for him there even after three loans.
The last temporary spell at Hearts did earn him a permanent move there in 2013. Although he got relegated with them in the first season, he gained promotion again with former club Rangers in 2015/16.
Wilson may not have lived up to his hype so far, but unlike the above he actually has senior Scotland caps – five – but not since 2011.
It’s understandable that Scotland fans got excited when one of their own was impressing at arguably the world’s best club Real Madrid.
Despite not making any first-team appearances there, the attacker put in some decent performances for their youth teams.
It is said that he was even offered a new deal to stay at the Bernabeu, but instead chose to move closer to the land of his Scottish parents by signing for ambitious Championship outfit Brighton and Hove Albion in 2015.
Things didn’t quite work out for him there, though, so he moved back to his birthplace Malaga in January.
Still only 21, the talented forward will hope to break into the Anchovies’ senior team next season, and could still yet become a star for Scotland – who he’s declared to play for.
Harper’s technical ability has perhaps even somewhat hindered his international career to date, with former Under-21 boss Ricky Sbragia once stating he didn’t fit his style.
Onto two older Scottish wonderkid flops, who are still playing – much to the disbelief of most who first heard of them nearly two decades ago.
Edinburgh-born striker Riordan, now 34, was highly rated as a youngster for his hometown club Hibernian and managed 64 goals during his first spell for them in under 146 appearances.
He eventually signed for Glasgow giants Celtic aged 23, still young and with plenty of time for further improvement.
However, with lack of form and therefore game time, he scored just four league goals for them in two campaigns, before being shipped off back to Hibs.
Riordan – capped three times by Scotland – enjoyed personal scoring success again with them for three seasons, but his career after then has gone downhill when he signed for Chinese team Shaanxi Chanba in 2011.
Spells since with St Johnstone, Bristol Rovers, Alloa Athletic, East Fife, York City and now Edinburgh City have not really amounted to much.
Kerr, now 35, is most famed for being a wonderkid on computer game Championship Manager way back in 2001.
He was THE go-to signing for all gamers, thanks to his cheap price from Falkirk and still being a teenager.
The midfielder’s real-life career nowhere reached his Champ Man promise, however, although he was a first-team regular for the likes of Falkirk, Dundee United and Aberdeen across nine seasons.
Later spells with Greek outfit Asteras Tripolis, Dunfermline Athletic, Dundee, Partick Thistle and Queen of the South were nothing to shout about.
But Kerr has been playing again for his boyhood club Falkirk since 2015, making three assists this Scottish Championship season.