It’s fair to say the best part of Matt Gill’s season came when he wasn’t at Norwich. Surplus to requirements for a large portion of the campaign, Gill spent a productive period on loan at Walsall, scoring 2 goals in 8 games and with the club desperate to keep hold of him for longer. With Norwich in the middle of an injury crisis though, the time wasn’t right, and Gill returned to the club much to the annoyance of certain Walsall fans.
Gill made just four appearances for Norwich this year, all from the bench, and has found it hard to make his mark at the highest level he is yet to play. Behind many others in the pecking order, it’s to his credit that Lambert still calls on him when needed; he seems more trusted than the forgotten pair of Owain Tudur Jones or Stephen Hughes. In fact, with Lambert reportedly speaking very highly of Gill at the end of the season dinner, it’s clear that he’s a character that is well liked and respected around the club.
That can’t hide the fact, though, that the club has grown faster than the player, and likely beyond him. Like a couple of others in the Norwich team, they were signed as League One players and, while doing an admirable or competent job in League One, they have had limited opportunities to shine beyond this; players like Oli Johnson or, again, Hughes. These are players that are likely to leave the club this summer, and with Gill being out of contract, it’s almost guaranteed.
But he won’t struggle to find a club. He’s confident on the pitch, good in the tackle and, at League One, a good passer of the ball. He showed at Walsall he can put the ball in the net if given the chance and he played with enough character and ability at Walsall that I would be very surprised if he didn’t end up back there. After a tough couple of years at Norwich, it’d be a move best for all parties.
Addition: 16th May
Just take a look at the video below to see Lambert’s comments at the Player of the Season dinner about Matty Gill (once you get past Lansbury dancing).