Conor Gallagher’s future with Chelsea was up in the air this summer after his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion. The 21-year-old spent last season at the Hawthorns and was the bright spark in a disappointing campaign, but he never stood a chance of playing for Chelsea due to the stiff competition for places.
Gallagher’s efforts in 2020/21 didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Crystal Palace beat Leeds United to his signature. The Eagles have finally landed Gallagher on a season-long loan, 12 months after they had initially tried and failed.
The central midfielder will be a valuable asset to Palace. He made 32 appearances across the board for Albion last season, scoring two goals with two assists.
Gallagher created 20 chances, had 30 successful dribbles, won 23 aerial duels, blocked 51 shots/passes/crosses, made 27 clearances, had 81 tackles and made 27 interceptions in 30 league outings.
The England U21 international has four more years on his deal at Chelsea and is rated highly but stands little chance of dethroning N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic in the engine room, so he’s forced to seek a temporary move elsewhere.
If Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tiemoué Bakayoko can’t get a look in at Chelsea, how is Gallagher supposed to get a chance? All he can do now is impress at Palace and hope it’s enough to impress the scouts watching.
To put in good performances at a struggling club like West Brom last season should hold him in good stead this campaign. Gallagher will be playing around some talented individuals and should benefit from the step-up in teammates.
It remains to be seen if Gallagher has a long-term future at Chelsea, but he’s proven he belongs at this level regardless.
The 21-year-old was loaned out to Charlton Athletic (August 2019 – January 2020) and Swansea City (January 2020 – July 2020) before joining Albion, so he’s getting necessary first-team experience wherever he can.