After development today, 'world-class' Chelsea prospect could be totally transformed soon - TCC View

It didn’t take Dean Smith long to find a new job.

After just a week in the employment line following his removal from the Aston Villa dugout, Smith finds himself in the Norwich City hot seat.

It’s a chair that some managers would have avoided at all costs, considering the Canaries perilous Premier League position.

Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

But the 50-year-old is no stranger to adversity, nor is he to the top flight’s relegation rat race.


He managed to help Villa back to the Premier League after three year absence from the first division, then guided his boyhood club to an 11th placed finish the subsequent season.

Yet, many have dubbed the Norwich job mission impossible, an assignment even Tom Cruise would turn his nose up at.

Grab Gilmour by the horns

Smith needs to sort out his squad immediately, starting out with the situation surrounding Billy Gilmour.

The 20-year-old has taken a nose-diving since leaving Stamford Bridge to join Daniel Farke’s former side over the summer.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

After featuring in four of the opening five league fixtures, the Scotland international hasn’t kicked a club ball since September.

Why Farke decided to continuously overlook the Chelsea academy graduate has not yet been properly explained.

“With Billy Gilmour, no other player has played more minutes in all competitions for us,” said the ex-Norwich boss, after leaving Gilmour out of the game against Arsenal.

That was two months ago and the midfielder has only made one more Premier League appearance since.

Pundits and fans have been equally bemused by Gilmour’s lack of game time.

“How he’s not playing there… 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,” admitted Harry Redknapp.

Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus/Getty Images

McGinn all over again

For all the confusion revolving around his repeated omission, hopefully Smith can provide some clarity on the saga.

Chelsea supporters will be praying the recently installed Norwich manager can have the same impact on Gilmour as he had on another Scottish midfielder.

When Steve Bruce signed John McGinn for Aston Villa in 2018, he was a generally unknown quantity to the English fanbase.

Bruce was out of the door by December, leaving a space for Smith to swoop in and take charge.

He led Villa to promotion that term, largely steered by the mighty presence of McGinn.

The 27-year-old has grown into one of the countries most consistent performers under the guidance of his ex-coach.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Smith will be looking for a similar renovation project on Gilmour, which could reignite his still promising career.

Interestingly, it was McGinn who called his younger compatriot ‘world-class’ following Scotland’s epic 3-2 win over Israel in October.

A huge statement and one the Chelsea loanee now needs to live up to in a Norwich jersey.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.