Dean Smith makes Billy Gilmour Norwich claim that will help make Chelsea transfer decision


New Norwich City manager Dean Smith has claimed that midfield sensation Billy Gilmour will be key to helping the Canaries stay up in the Premier League this season, therefore making Chelsea’s transfer decision in January a lot easier.

Gilmour, 20, was one of the standout performers from Smith’s opening win for the east Anglia outfit against Southampton at Carrow Road on Saturday.

A victory that has really reignited Norwich’s chances of finally ending the yo-yo curse that has haunted them for a while due to their indifferent form and luck in the Championship compared to the top flight.

Next up for the yellow and greens is the tough assignment of a stubborn Wolves side who were also on the right side of the scoresheet in game week 12 of the season following their hard fought 1-0 home win over high flying West Ham United.

Three points in that game for the 19th placed side could further increase the pressure on Leeds United who are only two points adrift of the relegation zone after they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Antonio Conte’s rejuvenated Spurs outfit.

Despite this positive start for Smith and co, the daunting task ahead of them in trying to stun English football by keeping a side heavily tipped for relegation in the top division still looks somewhat of a challenge but the new boss has picked out one key player that could help in trying to make what seems impossible, possible.

“Billy will be very vital to staying up,” Smith said via the Belfast Telegraph.



Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour claimed an assist as Norwich beat Southampton on Saturday
Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour claimed an assist as Norwich beat Southampton on Saturday

“When you have a player of that talent on loan, you want to get the best out of him. We want to utilise the strengths he has and he was part of a good team performance in the second half.

“He showed pockets of what he could do in the first half but we had to see another side to him because we didn’t have an awful lot of the ball, but I think he showed everybody he can do.”

The ex-Villa boss then went on to add on the potential of the player in question: “I saw him play for Scotland in the international period and he is a footballer, there is no denying that.

“I went to watch him in one of his first games for Chelsea against Liverpool in the FA Cup and he ran the show. He is a terrific player but better than that is his attitude and character.

“He just loves football and wants to be out there all the time. He was watching our Under-23s play on Friday night and he was all over the pitch against Southampton trying to drive the players on. He is a wonderful character and a wonderful player as well.”

There was a period of time recently where the Blues were seriously considering recalling Gilmour in January due to his lack of game time under Daniel Farke, but the midfielder’s return to the first team reaped rewards for both Smith and Thomas Tuchel, who can now agree on what’s best for the player in question going forward for the rest of the season.

Before Farke was sacked after the rare away win against newcomers Brentford, Tuchel was quizzed in one of his press conferences about Gilmour’s precarious situation.

Speaking to the official Chelsea website, Tuchel said: “We’ll take the decision in January, when the decision has to be made, not now.

“The things were clear when we decided together that he is looking for more minutes and more game time in another club.

“The challenge was clear that he needs to fight his way through.

“Right now things are not going as he maybe wishes and we all wish for, but now is not the moment to already give solutions and cancel the whole project.

“Sometimes these weeks and months arrive when the situation seems to be stuck or it seems not to go the right way. You have to hang in there, you have to show your quality and you have to make sure you help your team, no matter where it is. That sharpens your character. That will be making a big chapter in your career.

“For me right now it is not the moment to already give solutions for January and open the talks to bring him back. Now it is November and there is still a lot of time to prove that he has enough quality to help Norwich to be a better team.”

His assist for Grant Hanley’s winner, coupled with Smith’s ever-growing love for the player, means that Gilmour is now likely to see out the rest of his loan period with Norwich.





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