Billy Gilmour was surprised to even be picked for Scotland’s European Championship squad, having only played in five Premier League games for Chelsea all season and only featuring two times for the Scots before Euro 2020 began. But now, he will have the opportunity to gain regular game time with newly-promoted Norwich City.
What Billy Gilmour Will Offer to Norwich City
Man of the Match Regular
Back at Euro 2020, it was to be expected that Billy Gilmoir would start the tournament on the bench against the Czech Republic.
But after a rather diabolical display from the whole Scottish team, he was given the opportunity to start in one of the biggest matches of his career so far – against England at Wembley.
His performance gained praise from everyone, but from anyone who has watched a Billy Gilmour debut, you knew it was going to happen. He has now had Man of the Match performances on his FA Cup debut, Premier League debut, Champions League debut and now his European Championship debut.
It was a shame that he tested positive for COVID-19 and Scotland’s fortunes may have changed in that final game if he was available to play, with the young Scottish star offering so much dynamism in the centre of midfield.
Why Norwich City?
By being sent out on loan, Gilmour becomes yet another young Chelsea player who is out to prove himself. The question is if he will succeed like Mason Mount, or falter like countless others.
A loan to a Premier League club is perfect for Gilmour, as we will see him week in week out playing against top teams in the most competitive league in the world. His issue is that he has joined a club that, in history, haven’t shown the ambition to stay up.
Norwich have thrived off coming up and down, selling their top Championship stars to solid Premier League teams, such as Emiliano Buendia being sold to Aston Villa.
But perhaps Gilmour was picked up by Norwich as they wish to buck the trend that they have got themselves into. With other signings such as the highly-rated Josh Sargent and Milot Rashica, Norwich might not just stay up, but compete with clubs for a lower-mid-table finish.
The Game of Billy Gilmour
So far in his career, Gilmour has shown the ability to dominate the midfield. One of his idols was Cesc Fabregas, but it is perhaps more evident how he has been working to mimic the game of the three Chelsea midfielders who have performed well over the last three years.
His ability to keep the game ticking over and desire to always have the ball to feet, even if just to pass it back to where it was is similar to the style of Jorginho. His willingness to drive with the ball, deep from midfield, is similar to Mateo Kovacic. And his ball-winning skills, most notably seen in his debut against Liverpool in the FA Cup, is reminiscent of how N’Golo Kante reads the game and makes interceptions.
Norwich liked to play out from the back in the Championship and keep the ball, something that Gilmour himself has said suited him perfectly.
In pre-season so far, Norwich fans have been extremely impressed by what they have seen. In their 5-0 win over Gillingham, Gilmour dictated the midfield and constantly played on the pivot, spreading the ball wide or feeding the equally enigmatic Todd Cantwell. One of Gilmour’s standout moments was a lovely passing move that allowed him to drive at the opposition defence before firing wide. Another was his involvement in the third goal where he played a wonderfully weighted through ball down the left before the ball was crossed in for a brilliant goal.
Whilst most likely having to be deployed extremely defensively in their first match of the season against Liverpool, Gilmour will be exactly what a team like Norwich need when playing against world-class opposition, someone who isn’t going to just hoof the ball clear to an isolated attacker, but one who can keep composed under pressure and calm the whole team down. He’s done it once against Liverpool, and one should be sure he could do it again.
He will also walk into the dressing room with confidence as a Champions League winner and can perhaps bring a bit of that swagger into the dressing room.
Will Chelsea be Watching?
Chelsea have a deep desire for this loan to succeed, knowing that Gilmour’s talent could help them for years to come. Perhaps however they may just be doing what they have done with the likes of Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori, giving them experience before selling them for a lot more money.
Norwich is the ideal location for Gilmour as he will be a star no matter how the team performs around him, and all eyes will be on him in their first game against Liverpool, where he will look to replicate his magical Chelsea FA Cup debut.