Even after Chelsea have spent over £300m on their attack since 2019, there still is a feeling that all of the extravagant talent has yet to be fully formed into a coherent unit.
It feels bizarre to say of the current European Champions who sit only two points off the summit of the Premier League, but compared to title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City few can proclaim what Thomas Tuchel’s guaranteed strongest attacking trio is.
Some of those players are still finding their feet, are young or had injury issues. Whilst others have serious questions over their ability to ever meet the standards required for Chelsea’s lofty ambitions.
Eyes will in some quarters be turning to 2022 and what Tuchel’s potential attacking cast might look like given the reality of two transfer windows until we reach the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
One player who looks certain to be a part of that shake-up is Conor Gallagher, the 22-year-old on loan currently flying at Crystal Palace.
Few around Stamford Bridge could have dreamed of a better loan move for Gallagher before the season kicked off. But Selhurst Park has proved the perfect breeding ground for development, quickly rising into a talent few can ignore.
After the summer exodus of young talent from Chelsea, Gallagher’s loan could be viewed as the beginning of the end for the midfielder’s chances under Tuchel, potentially taking the same path of his current Palace teammate Marc Guehi.
Guehi was on loan last term at Swansea with hopes he could return to his parent club and fight for first-team minutes.
But the crowded defensive area in SW6 with more experienced heads turned Guehi’s head to Palace who could offer him guaranteed Premier League football instantly.
Gallagher knows the number of bodies he needs to overcome at Chelsea in central midfield but also in forward areas where his skillset is likely better utilised.
But his current Premier League numbers prove that Chelsea cannot allow a sequel to the Guehi story.
London is Blue Podcast pointed out that only Mohamed Salah (19) has more Goal Creating Actions than Conor Gallagher in the Premier League this season (11).
Gallagher has already netted six Premier League goals in 15 appearances with three assists to his name.
His stunning display in Palace’s 3-1 victory over Everton this past Sunday further emphasised why the youngster is amongst some of the league’s most prolific attackers this term.
Finding himself inside the box to slot away Jordan Ayew’s pass with the conviction you’d expect Salah to produce, added to that his outstanding 93rd-minute curler to leave Jordan Pickford helpless.
Gallagher’s potential fee has been touted at around £50m which seems fair for a player of this output. Especially when you compare his numbers at a side who feared a relegation battle in August to one aiming to win the title.
Gallagher’s tally of six goals is ironically only matched by another academy graduate in Mason Mount to who Gallagher has been compared.
The quartet of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic match Gallagher’s output, though it is fair to point out all four of those famous names have all played under 10 league games so far.
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Probably the closest to Gallagher’s regular minutes under Vieira at Chelsea is Kai Havertz who only has two goals and two assists in 14 league appearances.
But whatever way you slice and dice the numbers, the decision over his future in 2022 is pretty simple.
If it means even losing one or two of the current attack to make way for another Cobham star then that’s worth the price because his consistent output for a lesser side cannot be dismissed.
Especially when players above him in the pecking order who forced his loan in the first place are not producing.
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