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Conor Gallagher close to finalising Crystal Palace loan move — reports

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Rapid progression from the academy graduate

Reading v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

An initial report from Football.London, later confirmed by The Athletic, claims that Cobham graduate, Conor Gallagher, will spend the coming season on loan at fellow London-based club, Crystal Palace, having already completed a medical.

Gallagher enjoyed a fruitful spell in the Championship last season, clocking 3889 minutes across 45 appearances (all but one of the total games played) for Charlton Athletic and Swansea City. He also managed 6 goals and 11 assists in this time, which is very impressive for a youngster’s debut season in senior football.

It’s worth noting that Gallagher has done just as well as Mason Mount and Izzy Brown had, both of whom spent a season in the second tier following an Eredivisie loan at Vitesse Arnhem, and then immediately stepped up to the Premier League. Thus, the reported interest for Conor from newly-promoted sides West Bromwich Albion and Fulham came as no surprise before Palace ultimately won the race for the coveted youngster.

While the Eagles do not play with a traditional No.10, which is where Gallagher thrived for Swansea City, he may fit in a number of other roles in Roy Hodgson’s side, whether it be in a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2 system. The 20-year-old is versatile and covered a number of midfield roles for Charlton Athletic in a diamond shape. he may not be earmarked to play in a double-pivot in the Premier League just yet, but could well find a place as a No.8 in a three-man midfield or a wide midfielder akin to the role Ruben Loftus-Cheek played for Hodgson during his loan three years ago.

Wherever Gallagher does end up playing, chances to establish himself as a regular starter are hopefully a minimum requirement of this loan. Loftus-Cheek’s successful time at the club sets a good precedent but more often than not, Premier League loans have proved detrimental to the progress and momentum of academy graduates thus far. Hopefully Conor will be among the ones to buck the trend!