After a superb loan spell at Selhurst Park last season, it was always likely that Crystal Palace would be linked with re-signing Chelsea‘s Conor Gallagher this summer, but now it seems as if the Eagles are leading the race to sign him.
According to the Daily Mail, Palace are at the front of the queue if Thomas Tuchel decides to let the 22-year-old midfielder leave this summer, as Patrick Vieira is a huge fan of the youngster and wants him back at the club.
Much will depend on the attitude of Chelsea’s German manager, as while it is unclear whether Gallagher is part of his long-term plans at Stamford Bridge, current injuries to N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic suggest that the England international is unlikely to be sold.
However, with the World Cup coming up in three months’ time, Gallagher will be hoping to receive regular football as he looks to keep his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad, and he may feel that won’t be possible at Chelsea, as he only made his first ever start for the club in the 3-0 defeat against Leeds United last weekend.
Gallagher showed last season just how important he could be for Palace. The young midfielder was ranked as the Eagles’ best performer across the Premier League season according to WhoScored, earning an impressive 7.09 rating for his performances.
The midfielder contributed eight goals and three assists in the top flight and was a mainstay in Vieira’s side, so the French manager would definitely love to have him back on a permanent basis.
Gallagher’s performances last season earned him a lot of plaudits, as he was dubbed a “pressing machine” by ex-professional footballer Mark Duffy, while talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara also sang his praises after a brace against West Ham.
“I thought Conor Gallagher was absolutely a different class. I watched him at Charlton, and then he went to Swansea and he was in and out of it a little bit and then he was at West Brom last season and he was good, but watching him for Palace it looks like he’s gone to another level again.”
Although the Daily Mail report suggests that he would set Palace back as much as £35m, it would surely be a worthwhile investment for a player that was so important last season and still has so much potential to improve.