EPL

Chelsea midfielder Gilmour joins Norwich on loan

By Sports Desk July 02, 2021

Chelsea prospect Billy Gilmour has joined newly promoted Norwich City on a season-long loan.

Gilmour joined Chelsea from Rangers aged 16 and made his first-team debut two years later under Frank Lampard in August 2019.

The midfielder quickly impressed but has struggled to hold down a regular starting role.

Thomas Tuchel, who replaced Lampard earlier this year, can also call on N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in that position and oversaw a Champions League final triumph against Manchester City.

Chelsea have therefore agreed to send Gilmour to Norwich in order to gain experience of top-flight football.

'EXCITED TO BE HERE'

"I'm very excited to be here," Gilmour said. "I can't wait for the season ahead.

"I've been looking forward to coming here, playing as much as possible and helping Norwich City compete in the Premier League.

"I spoke to the head coach here. He called me and we had a nice talk about how he wants to play and how he sees me fitting in.

"Everything he said was what I want to do on the pitch, get the ball down and play nice football. He spoke really highly of his team and I wanted to come join here and help."

SKIPP REPLACEMENT

The Canaries last season had Oliver Skipp on loan from Tottenham in the centre of their midfield as they won the Championship.

Skipp had only one goal and one assist in 47 Norwich appearances in all competitions but completed 88.1 per cent of his passes, won 55.9 per cent of his duels and recovered possession 5.6 times per 90 minutes.

In 22 career games for Chelsea, Gilmour is yet to register a goal involvement, although his passing accuracy is a favourable 89.0 per cent.

While the 20-year-old's duel success rate is down (47.8), a comparable 5.8 recoveries per 90 should see him fit into Daniel Farke's side.

SCOTLAND STANDOUT

Gilmour's transfer had been anticipated since he excelled for Scotland at Euro 2020.

The Chelsea man was limited to only one 76-minute outing against England due to a subsequent positive coronavirus test but impressed on his full international debut.

Gilmour completed 90.9 of his team-high 44 passes, also leading Scotland with 24 in the opposition half.

Although he won just two of 11 duels and conceded two fouls, Gilmour made a pair of tackles and recovered possession eight times en route to scooping UEFA's Star of the Match award.

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