Crystal Palace could form a dream duo at Selhurst Park this summer after being linked to both Frank Lampard and Conor Gallagher.
What’s the story?
The former Chelsea manager has been identified as a potential candidate to succeed Roy Hodgson in south London for several weeks, while Blues midfielder Gallagher is a transfer target following a successful loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season.
According to The Sun, Palace are poised to make a £15 million bid for the highly-rated England Under-21 international.
Imagine him and Lampard
Whoever eventually replaces Hodgson at the capital club will be faced with a huge task. Over a dozen first-team players are set to become free agents at the end of the month, meaning a substantial squad rebuild will have to be carried out on a shoestring budget.
The task at hand, therefore, arguably requires a more experienced head than Lampard’s, but the 42-year-old tactician’s potential appointment does have some attractive elements.
Throughout his short time in the dugout, the retired box-to-box ace has already developed an enviable reputation of developing young talent and advancing their careers through regular game time.
The likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori have previously benefitted from Lampard’s faith in inexperienced stars, and Gallagher could be next to receive such treatment if the pair joined up together at Selhurst Park.
After making 30 Premier League appearances for the Baggies last season, scoring two goals and laying on a further two assists for his teammates, the 5 ft 10 gem has attracted the attention of several top-flight sides.
Once described by former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan as being a “different class” to his fellow Championship colleagues throughout the 2019/20 campaign, Gallagher has made himself a wanted man in England’s top division.
Pairing the youngster with Lampard could be a dream scenario for Palace over the coming months as they look to progress in this post-Hodgson era.
Former West Brom boss Slaven Bilic previously compared Gallagher to the Chelsea record goalscorer, claiming “you can’t help but notice” the similarities between the pair, and if anyone could maximise the midfielder’s potential, then surely it’s Lampard.