Conor Gallagher was subject to a fair amount of transfer speculation this summer, both because of Chelsea’s massive spending at his position, and also because he was entering the final two years of his contract, and the current regime prefers to avoid such situations where possible.
But Gallagher not only ended up staying, he’s become a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical vision, and has even captained the side on multiple occasions during the absences of Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
And none of that has been undeserved. Gallagher has been one of our best and most consistent players all season — but especially after we figured out how to best organize a three-man midfield of him, Enzo Fernández, and Moisés Caicedo.
The narrative has completely flipped, and the 23-year-old seems quite certain that a contract extension will follow in due course.
“I’m sure that will get sorted out. Everyone knows Chelsea is my club and I love playing for them. The fans are brilliant and I’m loving it right now. I’m sure it will get itself sorted out.
“[The summer] was a crazy period in terms of ins and outs. I had conversations with the manager and he expressed that he liked me as a player and I was in his plans. I was really happy.”
Things can of course always change quite quickly in football, and when Roméo Lavia returns to fitness, we will have five central midfielders competing for 2-3 spots (depending on formation) — only one of whom didn’t cost an arm and a leg and maybe a few other appendages in the transfer market.
But Gallagher’s brimming with confidence, and that’s reflected in his performances as well. He’s already won his place once, and has no doubt in his ability to do so again if necessary. And it probably will be necessary since that’s how such things tend to work.
“I’m very confident in my ability. Training and playing alongside midfielders worth 100‑plus million pounds is good and shows where I’m at.
“[Competition for places] is what comes with being at a top club like Chelsea. In a way I was excited. But I needed to make sure I was ready to show the manager I was still good enough to play in this team. [...] When top players come in your position, you think you have less of a chance of playing. It makes you even more determined to prove you are good enough. I think I have done that this season.”
-Conor Gallagher; source: Guardian
Sign him up!