Chelsea and Scotland youngster Billy Gilmour is attracting interest from newly promoted Norwich City, according to The Athletic’s Michael Bailey. The Canaries, who completed the signing of Milot Rashica earlier today, are hoping to sign him up on a season-long loan to fortify their midfield. Gilmour is currently at the Euros with Scotland, but his tournament has potentially been cut short by a positive Covid-19 test.
Billy Gilmour Wanted on Loan By Norwich City
Star Turn for the Scot
Gilmour has turned up as one of Scotland’s most promising teenagers in recent years. The diminutive midfielder joined Chelsea in 2017 after being a rising star at Rangers. Then manager Pedro Caixinha even held talks with Gilmour and his family to persuade him to stay at the club. He chose to join the then Premier League champions. He cost Chelsea £500,00 with further payments depending on progress.
Frank Lampard gave Gilmour his debut in August 2019, when the midfielder replaced Tammy Abraham against Sheffield United in the Premier League. He earned a full promotion to the first-team squad in February 2020 and has remained on the fringes since then, only making 22 appearances across all appearances in the last two seasons.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke had his doubts about including Gilmour in the Scotland senior squad due to his lack of playing time. Thomas Tuchel, who arrived at Chelsea in January, had implored Clarke to pick Gilmour, but he himself has used the midfielder very scarcely. He was included in the final squad for Euro 2020 and made his first start in the group game against England.
The 20-year old impressed everyone with his maturity and quality on the ball. He has the unique distinction of being named Man of the Match on his first starts in the FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, and now the Euros.
Valuable Playing Time
It is no secret that Gilmour has been underused at Chelsea. His lack of playing time was a major hindrance to getting into the senior Scotland squad. The 20-year old has shown immense promise, and every time he is on the ball, he oozes quality. However, he needs regular game time now to improve and grow into his role. He looks unlikely to get that at Chelsea.
Gilmour has the trio of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho to compete with for game time. Tuchel has also used Mason Mount in that deeper role at times, while Chelsea have been linked with midfielders such as Declan Rice and Manuel Locatelli. In such circumstances, a temporary move away might suit both Chelsea and Gilmour.
Norwich’s midfield was strong last season, but there is no guarantee if Tottenham Hotspur loanee Oliver Skipp will return to Carrow Road. In that case, Gilmour would be an excellent addition for Daniel Farke’s side. The Scot has Premier League and international experience and has played against top players. He has also learned from Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel, not to mention the fantastic midfielders he trains with every day. Norwich’s last outing in the Premier League ended just after a single season. Having a player of Gilmour’s ability and experience this time around would be beneficial.
Possibility of Gilmour Moving?
Whether or not this move happens will depend on a number of variables. Chelsea are unlikely to sanction a move without allowing Tuchel a pre-season. It also depends on whether or not Chelsea do move to sign a midfielder. If no one arrives, Gilmour will not be allowed to leave as that would leave Chelsea short on midfield cover.
Billy Gilmour put in a thoroughly enjoyable performance against England. But from Chelsea’s point of view, this produces a problem. A number of clubs will know aim to lure him with promises of a starring role. A permanent move is out of the question, but a loan move could happen before the transfer window closes.