It took newly promoted West Bromwich Albion ten games to find their first Premier League victory of the season, but yesterday they did, beating still struggling Sheffield United, 1-0. Among others, including a standout performance from goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, they have Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher to thank for it.
The 20-year-old Academy midfielder, who’s been an important part of the squad ever since arriving on loan in early October, playing every single minute of every single one of the seven games since, scored the game’s only goal in the 13th minute.
It wasn’t the cleanest or prettiest strike from distance, but it found a way through. And it was a memorable one indeed: his first in the Premier League, and his team’s first of the season, lifting them out of the relegation zone, at least for now.
West Brom boss Slaven Bilić, who’s a big fan of the youngster, was rightly pleased.
“I’m very pleased for him. He’s got a lot of everything. He’s young, he’s enthusiastic, he’s got legs, he can take the ball, he’s good in defending, on the ball he’s very calm, he’s energetic, he loves to get in the box. He’s got quality.
“Couple of days ago, he twisted a little bit his ankle and there was a major doubt ... but he wanted to play. He showed character and I’m really delighted with his goal and his contribution.
“If he continues like this — and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t — he’s got a massive career in front of him. Massive.”
-Slaven Bilić; source: Sky