By George Overhill

1st Apr, 2023 | 9:10am

Rangers fans to welcome Billy Gilmour 'with open arms' if club can offer escape from Brighton purgatory, Scotland need him

Rangers fans would welcome Billy Gilmour back to the club “with open arms” if a move for the unfortunate midfielder is possible, according to Matthew Lindsay.

The Brighton midfielder is becoming the focus of increasing speculation around a return to Ibrox, having initially left for Chelsea as a 16-year-old.

Despite previously being a key part of the national team’s midfield under Steve Clarke his club situation, where he has made only 10 largely substitute appearances for the Seagulls, has seen him overtaken by the likes of Gers man Ryan Jack and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay.

As such Lindsay writes in The Herald that his peripheral Scotland role is “sad to see” at a time when the Tartan Army have rightly been celebrating the memorable win over Spain on Tuesday (28 March).

It remains to be seen whether Rangers can afford a deal to bring the 21-year-old back to Glasgow, but Gilmour is said to have “big decisions to make” in the next few months, and an Ibrox move would have popular support among the fanbase.

Lindsay quotes his move to Brighton as costing £7million, while it is reported elsewhere to have been as much as £9million [Sky Sports, 9 September] – money the Light Blues currently don’t have for one player.

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One of Gilmour’s big problems since his Chelsea development got lost in the cycle of injury, Covid-19 and constant managerial change, is that he has repeatedly found himself in unwelcoming situations.

His season-long loan to Norwich last season was supposed to give him the regular Premier League experience to make the step up to the next level.

But Daniel Farke was sacked early in the campaign as the Canaries went on to struggle their way to relegation, and despite the backing of replacement Dean Smith the young Scot became a target for the fans.

He was then the victim of immense misfortune when he was left out in the cold at Brighton when he hadn’t wanted to leave Chelsea, with the only reason he went there in Graham Potter quickly leaving for Stamford Bridge.

So a return to Glasgow where he would be wanted, get regular game time, and have familiarity with the club seems like the perfect option for his career to get back on track.

He couldn’t be a better place to catch the eye of Clarke again either, and since Roberto De Zerbi doesn’t seem to need him and Brighton have already more than made their money back on the deal with Chelsea it would look like a sensible option all round.

In other Rangers news, a new manager on the scene has openly admitted he is after the Ibrox job.