Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea have been told to send Conor Gallagher out on loan for another year next season to aid his development even more.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been loaned out from Stamford Bridge for each of the last three seasons, playing for Charlton and Swansea in the Championship before spells with West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace in the Premier League. It’s at Selhurst Park where his game has improved the most, becoming an integral member of Patrick Vieira’s squad in south London.
Gallagher has played 36 times in all competitions for the Eagles so far this campaign and has scored eight goals from open play while catching the eye with his energetic displays in the centre of the pitch. His early season form was rewarded with his first senior call-up to the England national team in November before being voted Palace’s player of the season at their end-of-season awards night in Croydon.
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With two matches of the season left for Gallagher at Selhurst Park, attention has quickly turned to what is in store for him when he returns to Chelsea at the end of the season. Thomas Tuchel has said he has plans for the Blues academy graduate to be integrated into the first team but he is by no means guaranteed a regular starting berth in the team.
Vieira has repeated that game time is one thing he is assured of at Palace and with the World Cup coming up in Qatar later this year it will be important for Gallagher to get minutes to remain in Gareth Southgate’s thinking for the squad. Eagles chairman and co-owner Steve Parish has also expressed his interest in bringing Gallagher back next season if possible, stating that Chelsea are well aware of the club’s position were he to become available again.
Now, former Chelsea and England player Glen Johnson has added his opinion to the mix, telling the Blues and Tuchel that Gallagher’s development would best be served by spending another season on loan, warning that his progress would be stalled by spending a year on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
“Right now, I’m not sure if Connor Gallagher would get in Chelsea’s team,” Johnson told Lord Ping. “As he’s been doing so well out on loan to Palace, if I was Chelsea, I’d be keen to give him another year on loan. That would give him another year to develop further, enjoy the games, learn the trade and then start smashing the first team door down the season after, but a lot can change in football.”
He added: “I like Gallagher a lot, but if he goes back to Chelsea, I don’t think he’ll play and you don’t want to stall the progress that he’s already made.”
Source by Football London