Thomas Tuchel has admitted in a press conference that he wants Conor Gallagher in the Chelsea squad next season after an impressive season at Crystal Palace.
The Chelsea academy graduate who is currently on a season-long loan at Crystal Palace has been tipped to be the replacement for N’golo Kante. He has been one of the revelations of the season with many pundits urging the Chelsea manager and the board to make the Conor important member of the Chelsea squad next season.
The impressive loan stint with Crystal Palace has earned him a call-up to the English national team.
He made his first appearance for England as a substitute in England’s 10–0 win over San Marino.
What did Tuchel say?
Tuchel has praised the Blues academy graduate and revealed the club’s ambitions for him when he returns to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
‘I believe Conor can be a part of our squad and can play a role with us. But I am not the only one to decide,’ said Tuchel.
‘We need to speak after the season with everybody, speak after the season about what Conor wants, we need to see what the situation is and what role we have for him that he can fight for.
‘There needs to be something to fight, a role and perspective of where you are, where you can be, what you need to achieve. So we have to be very clear with him and he needs to be clear with us. Then we will sort it out. His development is extraordinary and outstanding.
‘He is one of the key players at Crystal Palace and made a huge step in his development upfront.
‘He was a pleasure to coach in pre-season – he has so much positive energy, energy in general, and such work rate to give that he can have a big influence.’
Chelsea has blocked Gallagher from featuring in their semi-final clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday because of an agreement in his loan deal at Palace.
However, Crystal Palace had asked Chelsea to grant a special dispensation for Gallagher to play but Chelsea has blocked the England international from facing his parent club.
Tuchel revealed that he has apologized to England international for not allowing Conor to play against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals
Asked if he had contacted Gallagher directly, Tuchel said at a news conference on Friday: “I had the chance to speak to Connor and I could also see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, I think after the national break, by coincidence in a restaurant and we had a chat.
“The subject came up and I apologize because I know how competitive he is. I like him a lot, I know his character very well. It was a pleasure to have him here in preseason and this is the way it is.
“We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan. I can understand Patrick Vieira and also the disappointment of Conor of course but these were the rules when we made the loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules.”