Liam Gibbs will have more reason than most to get his hands on the Championship fixture list on June 22.

Norwich City’s young player-of-the-year may have finished his education in Norfolk, but he was once a jewel in the Ipswich Town academy, and hails from a family of Blues.

The return of the East Anglian derbies will surely prove extra special for a 20-year-old midfielder who, but for injury, may already be viewed as a key figure in this Canaries’ Championship reset.

Gibbs made 37 senior appearances, which included his league debut and a first league goal of his career, with a stunning strike in the 2-0 Good Friday win at Blackburn.

In that one moment of attacking intent, powerful running and clinical finishing at Ewood Park you saw why his head coach, David Wagner, already ‘loves Gibbsy’, and why City fans can see the makings of a player with the ability and guile to make his mark in an area of the pitch that is yet to recover from Emi Buendia’s departure.

That is not to heap undue pressure on the young man’s shoulders. Simply a reflection there is raw material for Wagner to mould. Out of necessity he found himself shifted to a deeper lying midfield role in those frustrating final weeks, but that is all part of the learning curve.

Wagner expressed reservations when he first arrived at Carrow Road whether Gibbs had the physicality to handle that area of Championship combat.

Those appeared to be allayed down the stretch, but a midfielder with his range of passing, athleticism and attacking eye is surely an asset Wagner will want to drop into that mix around the experienced Ashley Barnes, Adam Idah and Josh Sargent.

The Pink Un: Injury at Sunderland curtailed a bright Norwich City start for Liam Gibbs

By his own admission nearly 40 senior outings exceeded his own expectations, but it was clear when Gibbs appeared from the bench on the opening day at Cardiff he had impressed Dean Smith.

A first league start followed later in August, in the 2-1 home win against Huddersfield, but a foot injury curtailed his rise at Sunderland before the first month was out.

Thereafter, it felt he was striving to play catch up squeezed against a declining spiral of team performance under Smith, and then another coach to impress when Wagner arrived in the new year.

There was a sliding doors moment in mid-October at Watford. Named in the starting line up he triggered the move that saw Sargent finish Kieran Dowell’s pass to reduce the deficit at the interval. But Smith then opted to replace him with the fit-again Isaac Hayden at the break, and later cited the need for experience to redress the balance in that part of the pitch.

Given the maturity and authority with which he strides across midfield one would hope he now looks back on that period as part of the journey.

“Gibbsy, I really love him. He has a lot of qualities,” said Wagner in February. “He has a lot of things to learn, he is still learning, he is very open minded and he can play more or less every position in midfield.”

“He is a very good talent and I am very happy that we have him.

“To bring him forward with the potential he has, I am really looking forward to do that. Obviously the most important thing for every young player who has a talent is that he is patient enough. And this is the big, big headline for him right now.

"Work hard, be patient, take opportunities, which you will get, and if you will not get them, work for them in the future.”

Barnes is the first but not the last wise old head City will bring into the squad this summer. Shane Duffy has been linked in recent days as he winds down his short term stay at Fulham.

But Gibbs is the future.

Talks have already commenced on keeping him at Norwich City beyond his current Carrow Road contract, which has two years to run. After a debut season of promise against a backdrop of disappointment it is players like Gibbs fans might use to measure the rate of progress under Wagner.

A breakout season is a high bar to clear second time around. But given he swapped blue for green and yellow Gibbs would appear the type of character who relishes a challenge.