Hasenhuttl dealt huge Southampton transfer blow over “top player” likened to Kante – opinion

2 minute read

2/7/2021 | 12:35pm

Southampton’s hopes of signing Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea this summer have been dashed after he agreed to a season-long stay at newly-promoted Norwich City, which is undoubtedly a blow to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side ahead of next season.

The 20-year-old midfielder’s move to Carrow Road has now been completed after an agreement was reached between the two clubs which will see him join the Canaries until June 2022 as Thomas Tuchel’s side look to further his development away from Stamford Bridge.

Southampton are one of the clubs who had been linked with a move for the Scotland international ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, and given his superb performance for Steve Clarke’s side against England recently, he could have been an excellent addition at St Mary’s.

Would Gilmour have been a good signing?

Yes

Yes

No

No

His performance in the 0-0 draw at Wembley in the European Championship earned the youngster a lot of praise, with his former manager Frank Lampard dubbing him a “top, top player“, whilst Dutch defender Patrick Van Aaanholt likened him to fellow Chelsea star N’Golo Kante.

Whilst Gilmour has only made 22 appearances for Chelsea’s senior side since joining from Rangers as a 15-year-old, he has regularly shown his class for the west Londoners when called upon, winning man of the match awards on his debuts in every competition in which he has played for both club and country.

Southampton’s lack of squad depth last season was clear to see as injury problems derailed their impressive start, seeing them drop down the Premier League table and becoming embroiled in a relegation battle due to a shocking run of form in the second half of the season.

Due to long-term injuries to Oriol Romeu and Will Smallbone, Hasenhutll was left with just James Ward-Prowse, Ibrahima Diallo and Stuart Armstrong, who is much more comfortable on the wing, as his central midfield options for much of the campaign.

Therefore, adding a central midfielder ahead of next season should be a priority for the Austrian this summer, and Gilmour would have represented a quality young option who could have provided a different style to Romeu and Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park.


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It is undoubtedly a blow for Hasenhuttl that Gilmour has opted to join Norwich City, as he could have proven to be an excellent addition to the Saints’ squad this summer.

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