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Newcastle “pushing hard” for Conor Gallagher

Newcastle United are reportedly stepping up their interest in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, after agreeing a deal to sign Real Sociedad striker, Alexander Isak.

What’s the word?

That’s according to the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, who wrote on Twitter that a loan move could be in the works: “Told #nufc pushing hard for Gallagher on loan from Chelsea after landing Isak from Real Sociedad.”

Reports earlier this month had suggested that the Magpies were one of a handful of Premier League clubs to have enquired about the England international, following his impressive, breakout campaign on loan at Crystal Palace.

Although the 22-year-old has since been welcomed back into the first-team fold at Stamford Bridge, manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that there will be no guarantee of minutes for the youngster amid intense competition for places.

Manager’s dream

It looks set to be a hectic end to the window for those at St James’ Park, with the club all-but set to confirm the arrival of Isak on a £60m deal, having previously walked away from negotiations due to the hefty financial package.

That change of heart – potentially influenced by a fresh injury concern regarding first-choice forward Callum Wilson – will see the Tynesiders finally end their search for a new attacking recruit, with manager Eddie Howe having previously admitted his frustration at the inability to bolster his forward line.

The former Bournemouth boss now appears to have set his sights on another promising talent in the form of Gallagher, with the one-time West Bromwich Albion loanee currently on a real upward curve following his meteoric rise over the last 12 months.

Snapped up by those at Selhurst Park last summer, the £22.5m-rated sensation went on to score eight goals and provide three assists in the top-flight alone, while also impressing with his relentless, all-action style in the centre of the park.

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Something of an old fashioned “box-to-box midfielder”, in the words of Zach Lowy, the £32k-per-week menace proved himself a real “manager’s dream” during his time with the Eagles – according to manager Patrick Vieira – such is his capability to impact the game in both boxes.

His impressive attacking output is no doubt influenced by his willingness to form part of the forward line when his side are in possession, as he notably ranks in the top 8% for touches in the attacking penalty area among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.

A man to also spark an attack with a surging run from deep – as he ranks in the top 8% for dribbles completed – the Epsom-born playmaker possesses a real desire to get on the front foot and influence the game, with that risk-tasking, aggressive style no doubt to Howe’s liking.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

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As too will be his strength defensively, as he ranks in the top 7% for pressures made, as per FBref, having previously been lauded as a “pressing machine” by Mark Duffy.

That approach will seemingly mirror the current style that is adopted by the Tynesiders, with the likes of Miguel Almiron (top 8%), Bruno Guimaraes (top 10%) and Joe Willock (top 13%) also ranking highly for the same metric.

It may prove difficult to secure the services of a player who has featured in all three league games for the Blues so far this season, although it is easy to see why Howe and co are so intent on pursuing him, with the four-cap maestro a true ‘manager’s dream’.

Article title: Newcastle “pushing hard” for Conor Gallagher

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