Thanks to a number of last season’s Loan Army moving on permanently, as well as some being in reckoning for the Chelsea first-team, there have been only three young Blues loaned out to Championship sides so far - Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City), Matt Miazga (Reading) and Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic). 19-year-old Conor Gallagher now adds to the Chelsea ranks in the English second division, making a short trip to Charlton Athletic for the season. As per club policy, the 19-year-old has also signed a new 3-year-contract.
Under the stewardship of up-and-coming manager, Lee Bowyer, Charlton won promotion to the Championship by overcoming Doncaster Rovers in the play-off final. The Addicks won several plaudits for playing an attractive brand of football with a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 diamond system and several young players excelling.
Unfortunately for them, they haven’t managed to retain the services of loanees Josh Cullen and Krystian Bielik whilst also seeing the likes of Ben Reeves, Joe Aribo and Tarique Fosu depart. The services of Jonny “Joniesta” Williams have been retained and academy product Albie Morgan began to emerge at the end of last season but otherwise, Charlton have made no notable additions to their midfield ranks. Gallagher has been assigned the shirt number 11 and will definitely be afforded opportunities to prove his worth, especially as he’s capable of operating anywhere in the midfield diamond (but most effective in the middle of it).
Gallagher comes with the pedigree of winning multiple FA Youth Cups, the Under-18 Premier League, that Under-17 World Cup with the likes of Foden, Sancho and Hudson-Odoi and was also named Chelsea Academy Player of the Year last season. He also saw some minutes in Chelsea’s pre-season fixtures in Ireland this summer and looked quite impressive in his time on the pitch! Needless to say, Charlton fans anticipate good things to come.
Good luck, Conor!