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Conor Gallagher breaks Crystal Palace running record as he sends Tuchel message



Conor Gallagher was very impressive once again for Crystal Palace in their goalless draw with Manchester City on Monday evening with another message to Thomas Tuchel

It’s been a superb season for Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea at Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old, who has come through the academy system at the Blues, joined the Eagles on a season-long loan deal last summer following a spell at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League last term. Gallagher has featured 25 times for Palace in the top-flight, chipping in with 11 direct goal contributions – eight goals and three assists.

In the process, he earned his debut England call up against San Marino in a 10-0 win back in November, with Gareth Southgate clearly impressed by his development under Patrick Vieira this season. There is thought that Gallagher could return to Chelsea in the summer and fight for a place under Thomas Tuchel next term.

There wouldn’t be many who’d argue against that, either. Gallagher has been in fine form this season, not just with his goals and assists, but his all-round game – the energy he shows from the centre of midfield could fit perfectly alongside the brilliant N’Golo Kante.

On Monday evening, Crystal Palace recorded a hard-fought point against Premier League leaders and reigning champions Manchester City after a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park. In the 90 minutes, Gallagher looked like one of Palace’s most dangerous attacking players.

Albeit, the hosts were restricted to very little of the ball in south London with the way Pep Guardiola likes his side to operate, but out of possession, Gallagher was particularly impressive. The Chelsea loanee ran a massive 12.5km on the night – the most distance covered by a Crystal Palace player in any Premier League game this season.

Gallagher has covered the most distance for Palace in 15 out of his 25 Premier League starts for the team this season. These are the sort of stats, coupled with his goal scoring return, that Tuchel will want to see from the England international.

Chelsea, as it stands, have Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Saul Niguez, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to choose from to play alongside Kante. However, Saul is only on loan and is expected to part ways with the club at the end of the season.

The future of Barkley remains up in the air and the Blues midfielder could well leave the club – should the current sanctions be resolved in the near future. Jorginho has also been linked with a move away.

Of course, it’s unlikely Tuchel would allow all three of these midfielders to leave Stamford Bridge as it would leave Chelsea very short in that department, but bringing Gallagher back would not only add strength in depth, it would improve their options as well. The midfielder has done more than enough this season to warrant a fair opportunity in west London next term.

Vieira, who has seemingly tutored Gallagher this season at Selhurst Park, was very impressed with the Chelsea loanee after the match on Monday night. The Eagles boss said this on Gallagher: “I can’t stop him [running].

“I can’t stop him and I don’t want to stop him because this is the energy that pushes the fans as well to be behind us. The fans were excellent.

“The last 10 minutes were really difficult but the fans’ support made it really easy to manage those last 10 minutes. Conor, this is his strength and this is why we love him.”

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