Billy’s back: Scotland boss Steve Clarke expects prodigy Gilmour’s loan spell at Norwich from Chelsea to benefit him as the man of the match against England at Wembley returns to Scotland action for the first time since Covid ended his Euro 2020 campaign
- Chelsea prospect Billy Gilmour is likely to feature for Scotland against Denmark
- The 20-year-old starred against England at Euro 2020 before contracting Covid
- Gilmour is back in contention for his nation’s World Cup Qualifier on Wednesday
- The Blues have loaned Gilmour to Norwich to build Premier League experience
Billy Gilmour will return to the Scotland side here in Denmark on Wednesday for the first time since his Euro 2020 Covid-19 heartache.
The 20-year-old was man-of-the-match on what was his first international start during the goalless draw with England at Wembley in June. That result set up a must-win clash with Croatia in Scotland’s final group game.
However, Gilmour tested positive for Covid-19 two days after his star showing against the Auld Enemy and Scotland were duly beaten 3-1 by the Croats.
Billy Gilmour (centre) starred for Scotland against England before being ruled out with Covid
Scotland’s Steve Clarke (R) is likely to deploy Gilmour against Denmark in World Cup qualifying
The Chelsea loanee has started each of Norwich’s three Premier League fixtures this season – in which they are yet to pick up a point – but national-team boss Steve Clarke believes the exposure will benefit the midfielder, who appeared just 11 times for the Blues last season.
‘It’s good to see Billy playing regularly,’ said Clarke ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifier against Denmark.
‘Obviously, his team has had a tough start, but I think it’ll be good for his development to play in a side which doesn’t have 70-per-cent possession and all of the best players on the pitch.
‘It’s going to be a good year for Billy in terms of his education. He’s a good player, he’ll adapt to the situation and learn from it.
‘When he played for us against England at Wembley during the Euros, he was fresh and his legs were good for 65-70 minutes and then they fell off a little bit.
The 20-year-old is gaining Premier League experience through a challenging loan at Norwich
‘Going into this game, he’s had a full pre-season with Norwich and he’s played the majority of the minutes in all of their games. He’ll be fine. He’s a great addition to what we already have in midfield.’
A lot is expected of Gilmour, for both his country and his parent club, who have previously been reluctant to farm his out on loan.
‘I think it’s credit to Billy’s abilities that they didn’t loan him out when he was 17 or 18, they kept him in the squad and kept working with him,’ added Clarke.
Gilmour won the Champions League with Chelsea last season and is highly rated by the Blues
‘I spoke to Frank Lampard a number of times about him and he loved him. He hasn’t had the same opportunities since Thomas Tuchel took over, but I’m not knocking him because he’s gone in there and done a great job.
‘We (Clarke and Gilmour) had a little chat over the course of the summer when we were together. Billy was driving it, he was saying he needed to play. It’s going to be interesting.
‘I watched his first game against Liverpool at Carrow Road. He’s going to have to adapt his game, he’s going to have to find a different game.
‘Sometimes the challenge is to play against the best players every week and play against a team that’s better than you.’