Billy Gilmour has had a torrid year since impressing for Scotland at Euro 2020 and will return to Chelsea this summer following a frustrating season at Norwich City
Image: Getty Images)
Charlie Nicholas has warned Billy Gilmour that he could become the “next Barry Bannan” if his performances do not improve for both club and country.
This is after the Chelsea midfielder failed to impress for Scotland in their 3-1 World Cup play-off defeat against Ukraine last Wednesday. Gilmour started the game but struggled like most of his teammates as Steve Clarke’s side ultimately lost the tie with The Blue and Yellow progressing to face Wales in the final.
It comes following Gilmour’s below-par season on loan at Norwich City, where he was criticized by a section of the Canaries fans for his displays over the course of the campaign. He made 28 appearances in total as Norwich finished rock bottom and were relegated straight back to the Championship.
In his Daily Express column, Nicholas insisted Scotland must not keep relying on Gilmour and admitted the Chelsea midfielder needs to “offer more”. He also warned him about becoming the next Bannan after the Sheffield Wednesday playmaker was once considered Scotland’s brightest prospect.
Nicholas said: “Billy Gilmour is a talented player but if he is not careful he could end up becoming the next Barry Bannan. Gilmour is a tidy footballer but he has to offer more and we need to stop making him out to be our savior.
“He struggled in the play-off because he did not get on the ball enough – and when he did it was square pass, square pass. Let’s hope he can make a greater impact than Bannan – another physically small midfielder who did okay for a few seasons but failed to hit the heights everyone hoped. “
Gilmour burst onto the scene during the 2019/20 season and made his full debut in September 2019 – starting a 7-1 Carabao Cup win over Grimsby Town. He was widely praised for his performance in the FA Cup fifth-round against Liverpool on March 3, 2020, where he helped his side to a 2-0 win. Gilmour would later make his first Premier League start later that week in a 4-0 rout over Everton.
Roy Keane branded Gilmour as “world class” after the Blues’ win over Liverpool. He told Sky Sports: “I thought who is this kid in midfield? There are certain traits you want from a midfielder whether it is quality on the ball, football intelligence, composure. He had everything, it was one of the best performances I have seen in a long time. He looked like a world class player. “
However, the 20-year-old did not play much football over the next six months due to the lockdown caused by Covid-19 and a knee injury. Despite starting the following campaign in the senior set-up, Gilmour made exactly the same amount of first-team appearances for the Blues in the 20/21 season.
After impressing for Scotland in the 0-0 draw against England at Euro 2020, Gilmour was handed an opportunity to go and play regular football with Norwich, citing Grant Hanley as an important reason behind the move. But he was unable to grasp the chance with both hands and will return to Chelsea this summer.