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Why Conor Gallagher Should be in Thomas Tuchel’s Plans Next Season


Why Conor Gallagher Should be in Thomas Tuchel’s Plans Next Season

Chelsea youngster, Conor Gallagher, finished his extremely successful loan spell at Crystal Palace with a 1 - 0 win over Manchester United. Under Patrick Viera, Gallagher helped The Eagles to a 12th place finish in the Premier League and a Semi-final appearance in the FA Cup.

Gallagher featured in the Chelsea academy team until 2019, where he won the under 18 Premier League, and two FA Youth Cups. During this time, Gallagher also made his debut for England Under-17s, where later that year, England and Gallagher won the 2017 U17 World Cup.

Like many others in the Chelsea youth system, Gallagher was sent out on loan. His first venture was to then Championship side Charlton Athletic, though this stint only lasted until January. Gallagher was recalled during the winter transfer window and sent to another Championship club, Swansea, who went all the way to the Play-off Semi-final.

During the 2020/21 season, Gallagher was on loan again, this time with West Brom in the Premier League. The relegation battle, that saw The Baggies finish 19th, meant that Gallagher’s football was slightly limited, but nevertheless, the Englishman picked up Young Player of the Year at West Brom.

The Palace loan spell has proven that Gallagher can excel in the Premier League in central midfield, so with some potential departures and injuries, Conor Gallagher should be in Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the 2022/23 season.

2022/23 Premier League Odds

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Chelsea to win the 2022/23 Premier League @ 18/1

Gallagher at Crystal Palace

Gallagher could not play in Palace’s opening game of the Premier League season, as it was against his parent club at Stamford Bridge. However, since then, the Englishman has gone onto record 38 appearances for The Eagles under Vieira - who has consistently praised Gallagher’s time at Selhurst Park.

In his time at Crystal Palace, Gallagher registered eight goals and five assists, making him the second top scorer and assist provider at Palace, behind Wilfred Zaha and Micheal Olise respectively.

These eight goals have also had massive importance. Gallagher’s first two goals for The Eagles came in the same game, the Englishman’s impressive brace away to West Ham brought Palace from behind, to grab a 2 - 2 draw.

Gallagher also scored and assisted against Manchester City in The Eagles’ 2 - 0 win over the eventual Champions of England, one of the only three defeats for City this season. This particular performance perfectly encapsulated what Gallagher can do in central midfield, with his pressing and goal-scoring ability making him a stand-out player.

The Englishman scored in back-to-back games in the Premier League when Palace welcomed Wolves to Selhurst Park after their trip to City. Gallagher found the net after Jose Sa was wrong-footed, allowing the midfielder access to the near post.

Gallagher picked up his second brace of the season against Everton as The Eagles won 3 - 1, both goals were impressive, but his second can only be described as a screamer, finding the top corner from outside of the box.

The Englishman’s other two goals came against Brighton and Watford, in a 1 - 1 draw at the Amex and a 4 - 1 victory at Vicarage Road.

Gallagher also performed well in the FA Cup for Palace, providing two assists in four games, against Hartlepool and Millwall. The Eagles were on a dream run in the competition, thrashing a struggling Everton 4 - 0 in the Quarter-finals, and beating South London rivals Millwall 2 - 1 in the Third Round. However, this run came to an end in the Semi-final, where The Eagles met Chelsea, losing 2 - 0, making it worse was Gallagher not being permitted to play due to loan rules.

Overall, Gallagher’s time at Crystal Palace was beneficial for both parties, as he proved important to Palace’s success this season, as well as granting the Englishman a wealth of Premier League experience. Gallagher was also awarded Player of the Season by Crystal Palace and picked up his first England call-up, and appearance in the 10 - 0 thrashing of San Marino.

2022/23 Premier League Odds

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Crystal Palace to Finish in the Top Half @ 11/4

Chelsea Next Season

The new ownership at Chelsea is reportedly looking to spend well this summer, but Gallagher could be a more than satisfactory replacement, and for a much lower price. Rumours circulating allege that Jorginho has many admirers in Italy, and that the midfielder may venture back to his home country.

With that potential departure and the more frequent injuries to Mateo Kovacic and N'golo Kante, Gallagher could fit right into Tuchel’s squad for the 2022/23 season. Kante has missed 16 games this season through injury, the issues ranging from groin issues, viruses and knee problems.

Kovacic has also missed 15 games throughout the 2021/22 season. One stint was due to a virus, but the other two stretches of absence were due to an ankle injury and abductor issues. Gallagher, on the other hand, played 38 games this season, a level of consistency that would be very important if Chelsea are planning to mount a title charge next season.

The Englishman, along with being consistently available, also scores goals (three behind Chelsea top scorer Mason Mount), which would be majorly helpful for Chelsea if Romelu Lukaku and his front line company have another relatively quiet season.