Thanks to our seemingly never-ending injury issues in midfield — and the recent dip in form that’s been at least partially a result from that — there’s been plenty of speculation about Chelsea recalling at least one of Conor Gallager or Billy Gilmour from loan next month.
But while it was always unlikely that we would cut either of their loan deals short, especially Gallagher’s, it now appears that we would not be able to do so even if we wanted to.
According to the Times, Sky Sports, the Athletic and the Daily Mail, both players have made enough appearances for their respective sides — more than 50% of the available games — to prevent the recall clauses built into the loan agreements from becoming active. Including such clauses makes plenty of sense for all involved as they protect both the teams and the players.
Plenty of discussion on Conor Gallagher's brilliant loan spell at Crystal Palace. Despite Chelsea recall talk from fans, understand he’ll stay at Palace until end of season due to featuring in over 50% of games for Patrick Vieira’s side. #CPFC— Michael Bridge (@MichaelBridge_) December 14, 2021
Gallagher has been one of Palace’s best and most important players and Gilmour’s seen his role grow again at Norwich as well since the appointment of Dean Smith. Recalling either of them now would be the wrong decision, and would do more harm than good in the long-term for their careers (and probably prospects of staying with Chelsea as well). We only have to look at Nathan Aké’s disastrous recall halfway through the 2016-17 season if we need a warning in that regard.
A recall could still be negotiated if the need or situation arose of course, but that doesn’t seem to be on the cards.
With N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić expected to return soon, the worst of the crisis may be over anyway. We won’t be needing Gallagher or Gilmour just yet, though that story could be entirely different come next summer.
Conor Gallagher can't be recalled by Chelsea in January as they can only trigger the clause in the loan contract if he has played fewer than 50 per cent of games.— Matt Woosnam (@MattWoosie) December 14, 2021
As he has played more than that, he stays at Palace until the end of the season. #CPFC https://t.co/QQcqX2DXcx