Aston Villa are likely to be watching Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher closely this summer, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider suggested that the Midlands outfit will be “keeping tabs” on the Englishman in the current window, should it become clear that he won’t feature under Thomas Tuchel next term.
After a positive loan stint at Crystal Palace last term, the 22-year-old is set to return to Stamford Bridge for pre-season, although O’Rourke admitted that Villa will be in the mix in case his situation changes: “I think Villa and a number of Premier League clubs will be potentially looking at Conor Gallagher this summer.
“He was a massive success at Crystal Palace last year, he’s broken into the England squad, but if he’s not going to play for Chelsea, I’m sure most of the Premier League would probably sign Conor Gallagher if he became available.
“So, I’m sure Aston Villa will be no different. I’m sure they’ll be keeping tabs on his situation at Stamford Bridge just like most of the Premier League will be.”
A return to Selhurst Park has been teased by Eagles chairman Steve Parish, while Everton boss Frank Lampard is also said to be keen on the youngster, although any interested party is likely to have to fork out around £50m to secure a permanent swoop.
With the Villans seemingly on the hunt for further midfield additions – despite having already signed Boubacar Kamara – Gallagher would no doubt be an ideal fit, having proven his worth following an eye-catching season with Palace.
The one-time Swansea loanee bagged eight goals and provided a further three assists from his 34 Premier League outings, with such form even attracting the interest of England boss Gareth Southgate, who has since welcomed him into the international fold.
His displays have also drawn comparisons to compatriot Jude Bellingham, with the pair sharing a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, according to FBref.
The fact that the teenager is a former Birmingham City man may not go down too well with the Villa support, although it is hard to deny just what a special talent he is, having belied his years with a string of impressive and mature displays for both club and country in recent times.
Already a “leader” at Borussia Dortmund – according to veteran teammate Mats Hummels – the 18-year-old has been instrumental over the past few seasons since his £25m move from St Andrews in 2020, notably scoring six goals and registering 14 assists in all competitions last term for the Bundesliga side.
The £49k-per-week starlet also compares favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 3% for dribbles completed, progressive passes received and touches in the attacking penalty area, showcasing his undoubted knack for surging forward from his midfield berth.
Gallagher clearly has similar attributes as he ranks highly in the same metrics, ranking in the top 8% for dribbles completed, the top 11% for progressive passes received and the top 7% for touches in the attacking penalty area, with the all-action gem proving a relentless presence in the centre of the park.
He too has also been dubbed a “leader” by Ashley Cole, despite his youth, with the former West Brom appearing unfazed by the transition to life at the top level – much like the Dortmund ace.
With Bellingham clearly out of reach for even the most elite clubs, Gerrard can capture an ideal alternative in the form of Gallagher.