Newcastle United are still yet to secure a first-team addition this month with deadline day fast approaching, with the centre of midfield having been one potential area of concern in recent times.
With Jonjo Shelvey having left the squad even more depleted following his recent injury blow, it has ensured that a new acquisition could well be vital if the Magpies are to remain in the mix for Champions League qualification.
According to The Telegraph, one potential solution could well be that of Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, with the report suggesting that the Tynesiders have ‘looked at’ the Englishman in ‘each of the past two summer windows.’
The piece goes on to add that the 22-year-old is a ‘long-term target’ for the club’s head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, with manager Eddie Howe’s ‘priority’ in the current window said to be securing a new central midfielder.
While Gallagher has found life somewhat difficult this season back at his parent club – having started just nine Premier League games thus far – the Epsom-born ace previously flourished on loan at Crystal Palace last term, scoring eight goals and laying on three assists in the top flight.
That standout campaign saw the relentless “monster” – as described by journalist Tom Dutton – earn notable comparisons to his current Blues teammate, N’Golo Kante, with talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino having stated:
“But, for me, Conor Gallagher is like N’Golo Kante with goals. Kante is a brilliant player, he does so many good things for the side, but he has never got goals and I see that in Conor Gallagher.
“I think he can do what Kante can do, and give you a return of goals in numbers as well. He can get into the 18-yard box and ten seconds later he can make a tackle in his own 18-yard box. There aren’t many players in the game who can do that, and Conor Gallagher is one of them.”
Additional reports from last term also suggested that former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel thought the same, with the German coach having seemingly been awaiting the £50k-per-week playmaker’s return to west London in order to bring him into the first-team fold.
That likeness is high praise indeed considering Kante’s standing in the game, with the diminutive Frenchman having won a plethora of major honours for both club and country, cementing himself as one of the leading players in his position in the game.
The 31-year-old – who is currently out with injury – has been lauded by pundit Joe Cole as one of the most “influential” players in the top flight over the last decade or so, having regularly caught the eye with his “relentless” displays in the middle of the pitch, as per Birmingham Live’s, Ashley Preece.
That front-foot, all-action style is clearly aligned with that of Gallagher, with the latter man ranking in the top 15% in Europe among those in his position for dribbles completed, while Kante ranks only slightly higher as he is in the top 7%.
The pair are also alike with regard to their defensive prowess and their commitment to the cause, with the World Cup winner ranking in the top 13% for blocks made, while Gallagher ranks in the top 8% for that same metric.
The latter gem truly is a “frightening” talent – as described by broadcaster Joe Fletcher – with it set to be a real coup for Howe and co if they can land the Kante-esque sensation.