On Friday night, Scotland secured a place in the World Cup 2022 play-offs, and not for the first time, Billy Gilmour was one of the headline stars of the show, impressing as he won eight of his 10 duels and recorded three shots against Moldova.
The 20-year-old has been hailed as the next big thing for Chelsea and his country for a few years now, and he has proved that in a Scotland shirt he is good enough to start and compete at the highest level internationally after impressive performances at Euro 2020.
Despite being key to Scotland’s most recent successes, the youngster still doesn’t make it regularly into the Norwich side, where he is currently on loan from Chelsea.
Recently-sacked Norwich coach Daniel Farke was questioned time and again as to why he didn’t include Gilmour in his set-up for the struggling Canaries, but the German defended his decisions, saying: “We are not here to develop players for other clubs”.
After Gilmour was snubbed for the sixth time in the victory over Brentford last weekend, Farke was dismissed from his duties as Norwich City head coach, and the club now look to find a new manager to direct them out of a tight relegation battle.
The 20-year-old has shone for the Canaries when given the chance, showing his well-rounded midfield qualities by posting the squad’s third-highest tackling average (2.3 per game) and the second-highest passing accuracy (86.1%) when players who haven’t started a game are disregarded, as per WhoScored.
Many voices in football have spoken out on the seemingly unfair treatment of Gilmour at Norwich, with Scotland team-mates and former Premier League managers singing the praises of the youngster.
Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn hailed the 20-year-old as a “world class player”, adding: “He’s going through a rough patch at Norwich and is frustrated not to be playing. But when he’s in the Scotland jersey, he’s always at the top of his game.”
Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp also chimed in on the isolation of Gilmour at Norwich, telling talkSPORT: “I saw the kid play when he first got in the Chelsea team, I saw him play in the Euros against England, you’d think if you take him at Norwich you’d have half built your team around him.”
Dean Smith is tipped to be named as the new Norwich City manager in the coming days and it will be interesting to see how he utilises Gilmour if indeed he is given the job.
With the Canaries, taking just one win from 11 league games, you would think that channelling the energy and confidence that Gilmour displays in the Scotland team would be a top priority for Norwich moving forward as they look to steady the ship and get out of danger in the Premier League.
If he is given the chance to replicate his international form at club level, he might yet inspire the Canaries to an escape from another instant relegation.