Dean Smith responds to speculation Billy Gilmour will return to Chelsea early

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Norwich City - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - December 28, 2021 Norwich City's Billy Gilmour applauds the fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Billy Gilmour will return to Norwich City (Credits: Action Images via Reuters)

Norwich City boss Dean Smith has denied speculation that Billy Gilmour is set to cut short his loan spell at the club in order to return to Chelsea.

The Scotland international joined the Canaries on loan last summer after Thomas Tuchel informed the youngster that he would struggle for game time at Stamford Bridge this season.

The 20-year-old’s managed 14 appearances across all competitions so far this term but he returned to Chelsea last week to receive treatment on an ankle injury.

At the time, the seriousness of Gilmour’s injury was unknown and there were suggestions that his loan spell in Norfolk could be ended immediately if he was set for months on the sidelines.

However, scans have revealed that Gilmour could return to action in less than a month and Smith says the midfielder will remain at Carrow Road.

Norwich City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Gilmour is expected to return to fitness within a month (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

‘He has gone back to Chelsea today for them to assess it but hopefully he will be back for his treatment and rehab over the next few days,’ said Smith.

Asked if Gilmour’s loan could be ended early, Smith insisted: ‘No, I don’t believe so. I don’t think the injury is significant enough for that.

‘I believe it is an injury where he will be assessed by Chelsea and then sent back to us. Hopefully in the next three weeks he is back playing.’

Tuchel was asked about the prospect of Gilmour returning to the club in a press conference today, particularly as there is uncertainty over Saul Niguez’s future in west London.

But the German insists he’s had no discussions about the prospect of Gilmour returning.

‘First of all we will check his injury of course,’ said Tuchel.

‘He’s our player and he’s here to get the best examination of the situation. We can decide with him and Norwich what’s going on but we have not talked before about whether he stays or not.’

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