Norwich City manager Daniel Farke said Billy Gilmour’s absence on Saturday was down to the number of minutes he accumulated on international duty.
Speaking to the club website, Farke laid out his reasons for leaving Gilmour out of the weekend’s Premier League defeat to Arsenal.
The Canaries couldn’t overcome their London hosts and slumped to a fourth successive top-flight defeat.
Arsenal were there for the taking, having lost their first three league fixtures of the season.
But in the end, Mikel Arteta’s expensive side cashed in on their added footballing wealth and grabbed a 1-0 victory.
Norwich were Gil-less
Gilmour had to watch on from the substitutes’ bench as Norwich’s poor run post Championship promotion continued.
He had started each of the previous three first division outings, before heading off to represent Scotland in their trio of World Cup qualifying matches.
“With Billy Gilmour, no other player has played more minutes in all competitions for us,” said Farke about the young midfielder.
“He’s had so many for Scotland after never starting last season so we have to be a bit careful. I trust my whole squad.”
It is true that Gilmour is already consistently clocking up more miles on the clock than he ever managed at Chelsea.
After making his Blues debut in 2019, the small Scott played 25 times for club and country.
That was, until, he joined Norwich on loan in the summer.
The 20-year-old has four appearances for the Canaries under his wing, along with a triple header for the national team over the break.
Despite his miniature figure, the Cobham academy graduate stood tall above his compatriots on the continental stage.
Norwich could’ve done with harnessing Gilmour’s form when they travelled to Arsenal.
But Farke clearly didn’t want to risk burning out the Chelsea loanee, despite having youthful exuberance in his corner.