Conor Gallagher waits for England call as U21 boss makes bold claim to excite Chelsea fans

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Lee Carsley has not ruled out Conor Gallagher being promoted to the senior England setup for Monday’s game against San Marino, with the Under-21 head coach also unable to resist comparing the midfielder’s goalscoring knack to that of Frank Lampard.

The Crystal Palace midfielder, who is on loan from Chelsea, has become the shining light in Patrick Vieira’s side with four goals and two assists to his name. He has impressed in Carsley’s first three games in charge of the Under-21s too as a leadership figure in the new head coach’s team.

With Declan Rice the latest player to be withdrawn from the senior squad and no decision made over Mason Mount’s availability following the removal of his wisdom teeth, Gareth Southgate has only four midfielders to choose from for Friday’s game at home to Albania.

Emile Smith Rowe, the Arsenal attacker, has already been promoted from the Under-21s after James Ward-Prowse and Marcus Rashford pulled out on Monday.

Speaking shortly before Rice’s absence was confirmed, Carsley said of Gallagher being moved up a grade: “I’m not sure. It’s not something we’ve spoken about. We’ve been focusing on this game but our job is to make sure [the senior team] are getting whatever they need. Emile is the first and there will be others.”

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Gallagher could potentially start for the Under-21s in a crucial European Championship qualifier against Czech Republic on Thursday evening before switching to be part of the group that faces San Marino in what could be a dead rubber should England beat Albania and Poland somehow drop points against Andorra.

That would suit Carsley, who has again taken note of the all-action midfielder’s finishing ability in training this week. He can see clear similarities with Lampard and his former team-mate at Everton, Tim Cahill, in terms of the frequency with which they get into goalscoring positions.

Carsley said: “One of Conor’s biggest strengths, but I don’t want people to get carried away with it, is his ability to arrive in the box is like Frank Lampard. Not just because of the timing but it is about the amount of runs that he makes.

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“It is the same with Tim Cahill [who Carsley played with at Everton], he just had a knack of arriving into the box at the right time but it is due to the amount of runs he makes rather than being at the right place at the right time.

“He scores a lot of goals in small sided games which is again a good sign because he has some really good finishing technique, he is calm in front of goal and can score an array of goals. I like the scruffy ones that he scores that bounce into the ground and into the corners.

“He is getting what he deserves at the minute which is brilliant, we want to have people talking about our young players for the future because we are very lucky that we have some good players like Conor.”

Source by Football London

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