Chelsea are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season, with two-a-days in training and various friendlies sprinkled in. And though many of the squad currently involved will probably end up leaving either for good or on loan before long, one of those who might be sticking around for a bit longer is young midfielder Conor Gallagher.
Gallagher was a standout in last year’s Loan Army as a key player for West Bromwich Albion, and impressed even as the team were ultimately unable to stave off relegation. With 30 Premier League appearances following on from 45 the previous season in the Championship (split between Charlton Athletic and Swansea City), Gallagher has already shown that he’s ready for the top level at just age 21. And he’s looking to keep on improving from there.
“I’ve definitely improved as a player in the past two years and a lot of that is down to the four managers I’ve played under and their different styles of play. I’ve just loved every minute of it and I want to push on even more now.”
Gallagher has certainly been exposed to a wide range of managerial philosophies in the last two years, ranging from the progressive in Steve Cooper at Swansea to the regressive in Sam Allardyce at West Brom, and now he’s getting a taste of Tactics Tommy.
Chelsea’s habit of loaning players is not without controversy, but the young midfielder who’s been at the club since a very early age, appears to be approaching that situation with the right mindset.
“I’ve loved every loan I’ve been on and every game I’ve played. It’s been great meeting new people, playing with a load of different players and under different managers. It’s all about getting different experiences.
“I think of myself as an all-round midfielder. I like to play box to box and just be busy on the pitch, try to create chances and do my defensive work as well.
“I feel like I can play anywhere in midfield, whether it’s deeper or further forward. I’m happy to do whatever and I’m good enough to do that. I know defensive intelligence is something that I can improve on so I’ve been working on that last season and now during pre-season. I’ve been told I need to get better at that so I’m focusing on it.
“I’m only 21 so I feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience already and developed a lot as a player. It’s still just the start because I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I know I can go even further.”
Let’s hope we can help Gallagher fulfill his ambitions, and hopefully in Chelsea Blue, even.
“It’s great to be back [and] to train under the manager has obviously been great as well. The sessions have been tough but really good so I’ve enjoyed the first few days.
“You always want to work with the best...”
-Conor Gallagher; source: Chelsea FC