Chelsea director Petr Cech has dropped the biggest hint yet that Conor Gallagher will play a part under Thomas Tuchel next year after his impressive Crystal Palace loan spell
Gallagher has been in sparkling form during a season-long loan spell at Crystal Palace, notching four goals and two assists in just 11 league games.
That form earned him his maiden England cap during the 10-0 rout against San Marino in midweek and has also won him a clutch of top-flight admirers.
But Cech has now made Chelsea’s stance on the 21-year-old’s future clear after hinting that Gallagher has put himself in “a much better and stronger position” ahead of next year.
“For Conor to get the England call-up was absolutely amazing and to make his debut was obviously even more amazing,” Cech told Chelsea’s official website.
“If he didn’t go to Crystal Palace and perform but rather stayed here and maybe didn’t play every game then that would never have happened.
“Once you start to play regularly in the Premier League and show what you can do, that gives you all these chances to be selected. If you have the opportunity to do it when on loan, you can come back to Chelsea in a much better and stronger position.
“Conor will come back to us in a completely different situation than he was six months ago and that’s the beauty of it.
“If everything works out perfectly, this is the idea behind it and obviously it’s great to see that it’s worked out perfectly for Conor so far.”
Gallagher has had spells on loan at West Brom and Swansea in recent years, but it’s in south London, under the guise of Patrick Vieira, where he’s really flourished this term.
“He is standing out every single matchday so it’s an easy one to follow and credit to him,” said the German recently.
“We had long talks in pre-season and we thought he could stay and fight for his place here.
“But when the talks came up with Patrick Vieira, once he understood the role he could have in the Premier League at the club, he wanted to take the challenge.
“We also agreed to let him go because we thought this could be the right thing to do. You need a bit of luck and a lot of quality, but Conor’s heart is so big, he loves football.
“You could wake up him at 4am and he’ll start running and sprinting and winning duels.”
Although Gallagher has impressed Tuchel, there have still been rumblings of another move for the youngster.
There’s still a chance that Chelsea will move for a midfielder in the transfer market this summer following Saul Niguez’s nightmare loan spell.
But it’s looking increasingly likely that Gallagher will attempt to follow in the footsteps of fellow Blues academy graduates such Mason Mount, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah and muscle his way into Tuchel’s side next season.