Chelsea’s Loan Army swelled in numbers this season once again, in large part due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant that several “big” names from the squad were sent out on temporary moves as well, including the likes of Ross Barkley, Michy Batshuayi, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
But there are several others who are out on loan as per the standard developmental pathways, such as 20-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher, who’s looking to make the step up from the Championship (loans at Charlton Athletic and Swansea City) to the Premier League (at West Brom).
I’m happy to report that so far, the still wonderfully coiffed Surrey-born local kid’s taking the step with the assuredness of a seasoned veteran.
Gallagher has played every single minutes of West Brom’s last four Premier League matches, and while they’ve only collected two points from those games (to give them just three points on the season in total), Gallagher’s been impressing nonetheless.
Fellow midfielder and club captain Jake Livermore has certainly taken notice of the man a decade his junior.
“Conor’s been fantastic for me.
“His energy levels and quality in training every day is a steal for us and I’m tipping him to be a top, top player. He wants to learn and has great ability going forward, but on the flip side he’s more than responsible at tracking back and he’s just got bags of energy. The athleticism that he’s got is what the game is becoming now and he’s got that in abundance.
“He’s been very impressive and I think he can be a really important player for us this season.”
-Jake Livermore; source: WBA
Gallagher was one of the best players on the pitch last weekend, as West Brom narrowly lost to Spurs, 1-0, thanks to a goalkeeper error in the dying minutes.
Albion may be in the relegation zone at the moment, but with plenty of other teams struggling for points at the moment — five teams under ten points after eight played — there’s plenty of time to still turn things around. At the rate he’s going right now, Gallagher will be key to any such effort.
And after that, perhaps the Chelsea first-team shall await next season!