Norwich have announced the signing of Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour on loan for the 2021/22 season to boost their return to the Premier League.
The 20-year-old leaves Chelsea to get vital top-flight experience under his belt, which he would struggle to do at Stamford Bridge. In fact, next season will prove a crucial one for him after his accomplished Scotland displays at Euro 2020. After reports earlier this week claimed the deal was in motion, Norwich confirmed the transfer on Friday.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Gilmour revealed details of his discussions with Canaries head coach Daniel Farke over his role at Carrow Road.
“I’m very excited to be here. I can’t wait for the season ahead,” he said. “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.
“There are very exciting times ahead, coming in for pre-season and seeing all the lads. Let’s get to it.”
Gilmour will add a crucial edge to Norwich’s midfield, having proven himself on big stages before, despite his young age.
He starred on his Chelsea first-team debut in 2019/20, an FA Cup win over Liverpool.
Four days later, Frank Lampard handed the midfielder his full Premier League debut and he helped the Blues beat Everton 4-0.
A long lay-off followed because of a knee injury, but he put in a brilliant performance to earn Scotland a 0-0 draw with England at Euro 2020.
Overall, he has made 11 Premier League outings and Farke explained why his acquisition will prove crucial.
Farke delighted with Gilmour transfer
“We are really happy to have brought Billy in. We must say a big thank you to Chelsea and all those involved for making this deal happen,” the manager said.
“I think it helped that in the past we have shown that young players with potential are in good hands here at Norwich City.
“We are delighted to bring Billy in because we’ve lost some players in that area. We’re looking to improve our options, particularly in the centre of the park, and for that we’re happy to bring Billy in.
“We got the feeling that he can help us a lot with his ability to link the play, his technical qualities and also his work against the ball. From the football point of view, but also from his character he is the perfect fit to our squad.”
Farke added: “He will help us to achieve our targets. We still have to keep in mind that he is an unbelievably young guy and that he hasn’t played regularly on this level. We have to give him some time and space to improve and find his rhythm.
“All in all, we got the feeling that he can help us achieve our targets and he’s a perfect fit for us.”
Norwich are looking to stay in the Premier League longer-term this time round, having been relegated after only one season upon their promotion in 2019.
So far, they have also added ex-Werder Bremen striker Milot Rashica and former Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn to their ranks.