Peterborough boss Johnson delighted to land Norwich City’s Gill
Peterborough United manager Gary Johnson has bagged his man, after Norwich City midfielder Matthew Gill sealed a loan return to where it all started.
The Posh boss has been a long-time admirer of the Canaries' 29-year-old, who he hopes will help push the London Road side on as they bid for an immediate return to the Championship.
The move is good news for the Cambridge-born Norwich fan, who has found starting opportunities limited since Paul Lambert took over the Carrow Road hot seat over a year ago.
It also marks Gill's return to the club where he learned his trade. Gill rose through the youth ranks at London Road, being part of the United team that reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals in 1998 before going on to make 167 professional appearances up to 2004, scoring five goals in the process.
He is expected to go straight into Johnson's starting line-up on Saturday, making his second Posh debut in their third-versus-fifth clash.
'I've known Matthew Gill since he was a kid; he used to play in the same East Anglian youth teams as my son Lee and I've kept an eye on his career since then,' said Johnson.
'He will get on the ball, have one or two touches and pass it on. He also likes a tackle so he's the sort of player I think we need at the moment.
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'He hasn't played much first team football lately, but he's been a regular on the bench for Norwich and he's a fit lad anyway.
'He will play on Saturday. I haven't bought him not to play him.'
Gill is a replacement for former Leicester City youngster James Wesolowski, who faces weeks on the sidelines after damaging knee ligaments in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Exeter, while fellow midfielder and skipper Grant McCann also picked up a knee injury in the game. While the loan is due to expire at the end of October, Johnson may be able to extend the deal further.
Gill, who made an injury time appearance as a substitute in the Canaries' 1-0 Championship win at Preston on Saturday, has been limited to just seven starts since being signed as a free agent from Exeter by Bryan Gunn in summer, 2009.
Therefore it remains to be seen whether the midfielder would be tempted to stay at Posh beyond his initial spell – or even consider a more permanent stay at the club where he spent his formative football years.
Of City's current 31-man playing squad – including on-loan West Bromwich Albion defender Leon Barnett – Lambert has also sent Owain Tudur Jones, Cody McDonald and Tom Adeyemi on temporary stints away from Carrow Road.
Striker McDonald is spending the season at League Two side Gillingham, which was part of the deal that brought Simeon Jackson to Norwich, making four starts but is without a goal.
Adeyemi is at the Gills' fourth tier rivals, Bradford City, for a year – although City have a New Year recall option on their promising midfield prospect; the 18-year-old has one goal in five starts.
Tudur Jones seems unlikely to have a future at Carrow Road and is currently on a month's loan at League One side Yeovil, where he scored on his fifth appearance this season for the Glovers in their 4-2 defeat at leaders Huddersfield Town.