Gilmour would like to be beside the seaside

Those who advise Billy Gilmour would do well to consider carefully his next career move. His loan transfer to Norwich City last season was a disaster while it seems clear that – when someone such as Conor Gallagher cannot find a way into Thomas Tuchel's starting XI – it might be time to start looking at life away from Chelsea if the Scot is to progress his career. Gallagher is a different, but not necessarily better, player than Gilmour but he is ahead of him in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, a place that has become a graveyard for young domestic talent over the past decade. Had he needed any more persuading that a move would be best for his career to flourish it came on Friday when Chelsea spent £12.6 million to bring Italian midfielder Cesare Casadei in from Inter Milan.

Rangers and Everton – where Gilmour's former manager Frank Lampard is boss – have been credited with an interest in taking the 21-year-old Gilmour on loan. The latter is appealing simply because of Lampard's presence at Goodison Park while the former would give Gilmour the chance to return to the club where he started his career and exposure to game time in continental competition.

However, there is a more convincing case to be made elsewhere and that destination is Brighton, who are also exploring a move for Gilmour.

There is one main reason for that belief: in Graham Potter, Brighton have a manager who has become something of a horse whisperer when it comes to players who have either been discarded by elite clubs – Tariq Lamptey who is a former youth team colleague of Gilmour's immediately springs to mind – or under-the-radar signings from Europe or under-scouted global markets.

Marc Cucurella, who became a team-mate of Gilmour's when he joined Chelsea from Brighton for £62m last week, falls into a couple of those categories. Having been raised in Barcelona's La Masia Academy, he had two seasons at Getafe before joining Brighton last summer for £15m. A year on and he is widely recognised as one of the best left-sided defenders in the Premier League. Similar could be said of Yves Bissouma, a player who lots of big clubs looked at before Brighton took advantage of their indecision and Potter went about helping to establish the Malian as one of the best holding midfielders in English football's top flight.

Brighton's system is one that is designed to make the most of the players available and it could work similar wonders for Gilmour.

Cairney could be worth another look

Tom Cairney made his first appearance for Fulham since the Londoners returned to the Premier League in Saturday's 3-2 win over Brentford.

Back in 2017, when the midfielder made his Scotland debut in the 1-1 draw against Canada in a friendly, he stated that he did not consider his appearances for the national team to be “a flash in the pan”. But that's exactly what has happened and since making that statement Cairney played just one more game for his country, this time in another friendly against Costa Rica in 2018.

Of course international football is full of players who it seems somewhat of an oversight on Scotland's behalf that a player who contributes on average a goal every four games for Fulham has never been given another look.

Perhaps, should Cairney become a regular feature of the West Londoners side this season it might suggest there is some gas left in the tank. His 27 appearances and four goals last season seem to indicate there just might be.

Hollywood FC's predictable script

Celebrities involving themselves in football clubs is nothing new. Will Ferrell (as well as assorted other Hollywood stars) is a minority shareholder in Los Angeles FC, the MLS team that Gareth Bale has just signed for, LA Laker Lebron James has a stake in Liverpool as part of his decision to buy into Fenway Sports Group and, long before it was de rigueur, Elton John was the owner of Watford.

For two of the aforementioned there appears to be more than a passing interest in football attached to their decisions: Ferrell is a long-standing fan of the game, while dear old Elton was a fan of Watford as a boy.

There's a rather more straightforward explanation to the question of why Ryan Reynolds became involved at Welsh non-league side Wrexham. In an interview in the Sunday Times, headline “Ryan Reynolds: I knew nothing about football, so why did I buy a team”, readers discover the answer pretty quickly in a subdeck that reads: “The actor explains how he teamed up with Rob McElhenney to buy a failing club and make a documentary about it."

The football club as plaything is given a whole new definition.

Haney not the best judge

Another week, another player has been hitching himself on to the LIV Golf great bandwagon. This time it was the turn of Hank Haney – the former coach of Tiger Woods who once had his PGA Tour radio show dropped after he made racist and sexist comments on it – to extol the virtues of the Saudi-backed venture that has caused civil war in golf.

Haney's gripe concerned the continued exclusion of LIV golfers from the Official World Golf Rankings.

He wrote on Twitter: “Clearly OWGR points system is rigged against @LIVGolfInv. I keep getting to the same point, how is the OWGR a true ranking if it doesn’t include all players? Don’t the majors want the best fields? Guess not, it’s just based on how to screw @LIVGolfInv and hating @SharkGregNorman.”

Or, you know, expecting an event that does not promote competition or comply with the rules of golf to be omitted from rankings that relate to those that do.

Boxing's predictable pantomime

It was interesting to hear the comments of boxer Frazer Clarke in the aftermath of Anthony Joshua's post-fight rant following his heavyweight world title defeat by Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua had just chucked Usyk's belts out of the ring and stormed towards the dressing room before returning to launch, via the public address system, a bizarre summation of his career, and a potted history of Ukraine through the prism of its boxers that sounded like the kind of thing you'd read in a book entitled Funniest Exam Book Answers.

Pantomime-like sideshows have always been a part of boxing, but they seem particularly prevalent when the promoter Eddie Hearn is involved, so that's what made Clarke's assertion of events particularly noteworthy.

“I feel he was hung out to dry there,” said Clarke. “Somebody should have saved him from himself. Anthony is a great person and has done a lot for a lot of people, a lot for me, but I feel like he had a bit of a bad one there, and it was out of character."


The number of Rangers matches Alfredo Morelos has missed through suspension since his arrival in Scottish football in July 2017