'I really rate the boy': Eddie Newton is a big fan of 20-year-old Chelsea youngster

Eddie Newton forecasted Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour to enjoy a stronger finish to the season following a difficult start to life at Norwich City.

Speaking to Goal, Newton touched upon Thomas Tuchel’s use of the club’s academy system, of which Gilmour is a golden pupil.

Cobham’s construction is line is one of the finest footballing factories in the country.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Unfortunately, for many years, the engines stopped whirring, the fires doused.

However, Frank Lampard rebooted the whole system and production resumed.

Entrusting the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Gilmour with first-team responsibilities gave a glimpse into a shiny new Stamford Bridge future.

But Lampard’s departure signalled the end of such a project.

Tomori, Abraham, Marc Guehi and Tino Livramento were all sold over the summer.

This left Mount, James, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah as the development system’s torchbearers.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Conor Gallagher, Henry Lawrence, Levi Colwill, Dujon Sterling, Armando Broja and Tino Anjorin – amongst others – were sent on loan, all shipped off with ambitions of returning to Chelsea next term.

This used to be under Newton’s remit whilst he was Chelsea’s technical coach; overseeing the vast loan project.

Billy Goats Gruff

Gilmour was also part of the mass junior exodus, as he joined newly promoted Norwich.

Sadly, it seems the Canaries’ Premier League song will only last a few more months unless their relegation form is reversed.

Despite the perilous position of Daniel Farke’s side, Newton predicted a sturdier conclusion to the campaign for Gilmour.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“I think Billy Gilmour will do well later in the season at Norwich,” said the ex-Trabzonspor manager.

“I really rate the boy, he did well at Chelsea when he came in.

“It will be interesting to watch him develop over time at Norwich.”

The Tartan Army marches on

Norwich’s dire attempt at top-flight survival has not given Gilmour’s development much room for growth.

Six consecutive defeats were only halted by a 0-0 draw with Burnley before the international break, a game the small Scotsman didn’t even feature in.

The 20-year-old’s best performances of the season have actually been in his nation’s colours.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He had an excellent evening on Saturday when Scotland defeated Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park.

Regrettably for Gilmour, the next international break isn’t until March.

By that stage, Norwich might well be dead and buried, meaning his Chelsea career could also be on the line.

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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.