Conor Gallagher’s excellent season on loan at Crystal Palace has led to a few recent stories about Thomas Tuchel having him already penciled in for a role at Chelsea for next season.
That may be true to whatever extent we may have done any such long-term planning, but as Tuchel explained in his press conference yesterday, the middle of the season is not the time to make any specific decision in that regard. And when it does come time to make the decision, it will be done together with the player, to make sure we’re all aligned on our goals and happy (enough) with whatever step may be next.
“We will take this decision late because there’s no need to take it today. The season is by far not over and he needs to finish the season with Crystal Palace in the best possible way and we will see what he wants, what we want, and then we will have a talk and decide. But I’m happy that he’s our player.”
That said, given Gallagher’s progress at Palace from an already impressive preseason, and having now proven himself at Premier League level at age 22, surely our goal will be (and should be) to find a place (and minutes) for him in the first-team.
“In the pre-season, I saw he could have a chance to have an impact in our squad. He did a fantastic pre-season and he’s a fantastic guy and he cares so much about Chelsea because he’s from the academy.
“It was very nice to have him around and he was impressive in pre-season, and then the opportunity came and they (Crystal Palace) offered him a role which he took and you see what it does to a player if they are needed, if they are playing an important role. He was not just offered that role, he took it and he took it with quality, with the energy he has, and now he took several steps in his development which is quite impressive.
“We are happy that he is our player, we are happy it is like this. Would it be the same if he had stayed? Nobody knows, but it was a good decision because he clearly developed.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Metro
Player development is often a combination of skill, luck, and good decision-making. So far, so good with Gallagher. Let’s hope that continues, and continues in Chelsea Blue!