Billy Gilmour joins Norwich City on season-long loan
- Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher
Norwich City have confirmed the loan addition of Chelsea and Scotland international midfielder Billy Gilmour.
The 20-year-old has signed for the Canaries on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge and becomes City's fifth senior addition of the summer after permanent deals for defensive duo Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis were confirmed on Thursday.
Gilmour, a precocious talent rated highly by some of the biggest names in English football, arrives at Carrow Road on the back of an impressive Euro 2020 with Scotland, where his performance against England at Wembley caught the eye.
Norwich have beaten off interest from fellow Premier League clubs and Scottish champions Rangers to land the midfielder.
Daniel Farke's close relationship with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is thought to have played a significant role in convincing the Chelsea chief that City was the perfect destination for Gilmour to continue his development.
City's boss worked alongside Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund and the pair share a similar outlook on football. Farke's tactical style and the progress Spurs youngster Oliver Skipp made on loan in Norfolk last year are also believed to be factors in the decision to send Gilmour to Norwich.
Gilmour has made 22 senior appearances at Stamford Bridge and was a major part of their trophy-laden youth side under Jody Morris in 2018.
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He made his senior debut for Chelsea as a late substitute in their 2-2 draw with Sheffield United in August 2019. The Scot made five league appearances last season, including an impressive performance against champions Manchester City at the Etihad as Tuchel's side recorded a 2-1 victory.
Gilmour also featured in their successful Champions League campaign and was an unused substitute in the final.
City have been looking to bolster their midfield options after the departures of Alex Tettey, Mario Vrancic and Skipp. They retain an interest in the Spurs youngster and Bournemouth's Philip Billing remains a player of interest.
They have also added Werder Bremen attacker Milot Rashica and Angus Gunn to their squad this summer.
Discussing his move to Carrow Road, Gilmour expressed his excitement at testing himself regularly in the top-flight: “I’m very excited to be here. 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. 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.”
City boss Farke believes their reputation for developing young players pushed them to the front of the queue to sign Gilmour but is stressing the importance of patience as the Scottish international acclimatises to regular football in the top flight.
Speaking to the club's official channels, the German said: “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.
"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.
“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.”