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Norwich manager Dean Smith highlights Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour’s importance in relegation fight

Giving youth a chance

Norwich City v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

The highlight of Billy Gilmour’s performance during Norwich’s 2-1 win against Southampton last Saturday, was the corner assist to the winning goal for the Canaries. But summarising his match with an assist will not do justice to the Chelsea loanee, whose quality in midfield play not just with silky passes, but also in contributing to pressing and defence, shows how bright of a future he might have.

Norwich cannot afford to wait until his promise is fulfilled since they only have him for a season. So manager Dean Smith’s mission is to make the most out of Gilmour’s present day skills, which are already a blessing to their cause. The new boss at Carrow Road believes the team’s chance of staying in the Premier League will go through Gilmour’s talents, and it is likely he will do the utmost to bring them out whenever possible.

“Billy will be very vital to staying up.

“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 what he can do.”

This is a very nice change of pace from former manager Daniel Farke. The hype over his links with Thomas Tuchel from their Borussia Dortmund years quickly faded away as the former boss showed himself less and less inclined to rely on players that were not his to develop, all while failing to get results that would get Norwich out of their slump.

On the other hand, Smith has been aware of Gilmour’s quality since his years as Aston Villa’s head coach. He sees not only the 20-year-old’s quality on the ball, but also the commitment to the sport from him.

“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.”

-Dean Smith; Source: The Independent

As we often said in previous years, give youth a chance. It is a risk that can pay in dividends.