Potter's exit for Chelsea 'isn't ideal' for Gilmour, says Barber

Graham Potter’s exit for Chelsea ‘isn’t ideal’ for Billy Gilmour after he swapped Stamford Bridge for south coast this summer, says Brighton’s CEO Paul Barber… but he backs ‘resilient’ Scottish star to ‘take it in his stride’

  • Billy Gilmour left Chelsea for Brighton on a four-year deal on deadline day
  • He joined under Graham Potter but he has now left Brighton to join Chelsea
  • Brighton CEO Paul Barber conceded Potter’s Chelsea exit ‘isn’t ideal’ for Gilmour 

Billy Gilmour has been back to take Graham Potter’s exit to Chelsea ‘in his stride’ despite the manager’s departure being far from ‘ideal’ for the young midfielder, says Brighton CEO Paul Barber.  

The 21-year-old midfielder left Chelsea on deadline day to move to the Amex Stadium for £9m. 

He was initially unwilling to depart his boyhood club, but eventually opted to join the Seagulls after speaking to Potter, with Thomas Tuchel giving him the green light to leave Stamford Bridge. 

Graham Potter (right) leaving for Chelsea is ‘not ideal’ for Billy Gilmour, admits Brighton CEO Paul Barber, after the Scottish midfielder left Stamford Bridge to work with Potter

Thomas Tuchel encouraged Gilmour to make the switch to Brighton to help his development

Potter unquestionably played a key role and given he is now no longer at the club questions have been asked about Gilmour’s future on the south coast.

‘It isn’t ideal, far from ideal,’ CEO Barber said, as per SussexLive. 

‘But my experience of working with professional footballers for the last 25 years is that they are resilient and pragmatic. They take a lot of support from senior players at the squad. My limited experience of talking to Billy is that he is a very calm and very mature young man,’ he said on Monday.

‘He has been around football all his life and I’m sure he will take this in his stride. He will be helped by the other players and by Andrew Crofts and Shannon Ruth as need be. 

 Barber did not disagree it’s a setback for Gilmour but has backed him to ‘take it in his stride’

Gilmour was struggling for opportunities at Chelsea and targeted a fresh start at Brighton

‘The fortunate position we are in is that we are not facing Premier League matches tomorrow, this week or next week. We have time.’

Potter managed just a week with Gilmour before he was appointed as successor to Tuchel and now the Scot will look to find a similar rapport in the next manager.  

‘For me, Brighton play great football, a style that I like to play, nice passing. The manager [Potter] is highly thought of as well. He’s really good,’ Gilmour told My Albion TV in early September.

‘I thought I wanted to come here. I also know a couple of players here like [Levi] Colwill and Tariq [Lamptey]. So I’ve asked them and they’ve been telling me how good a club it has been. I am looking forward to joining.’

Gilmour only made a single cameo appearance for Brighton in their 5-2 win against Leicester last weekend before Potter exited the club.

He is ‘finding his way around the training ground, let alone a new coach’ conceded Barber, but he is unconcerned about his marquee summer arrival. 

Gilmour made one appearance for Brighton in their win against Leicester before Potter exited

Brighton could now turn to Bodo/Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen (pictured) to replace Potter

‘The timing around the transfer window closing was always potentially going to leave one or two players in Billy’s situation if this happens,’ he added. 

‘Players are resilient and professional and we have a good group and the senior players will bridge any gap that might exist and we will move on from there.’ 

Brighton are currently exploring their options as they look for Potter’s successor, with Kjetil Knutsen and Roberto De Zerbi reportedly in the running for the role.

Knutsen has done a fine job at Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt in recent years, leading his side to consecutive league titles in 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, De Zerbi has largely made his name in his homeland of Italy, impressing with his attacking style of play at Sassuolo before briefly managing Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk.

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