Thomas Tuchel has delivered his verdict on the futures of Chelsea youngsters Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah.
Gallagher joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan this summer in a bid to gain more Premier League experience. He has gone on to become one of their key players, registering three goals and two assists in his first nine appearances.
The central midfielder is proving his ability to mix it with the big teams. He netted a brace during Palace’s 2-2 draw with West Ham in August. Gallagher was also involved in both goals last weekend as Palace pulled off a surprise 2-0 win over Man City.
The 21-year-old’s form has led to questions over whether he could make it into Tuchel’s starting eleven next season. There is plenty of competition for places but Gallagher’s confidence makes him a strong contender.
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Burnley, Tuchel was quizzed on the loanee. He said (via football.london): “He is standing out every single matchday so it’s an easy one to follow and credit to him.
“We had long talks in pre-season and we thought he could stay and fight for his place. But when the talks came up with Crystal Palace, 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 quality, but Conor’s quality is so big. You could wake up him at 4am and he’ll start running and sprinting and winning duels.”
Chalobah is also impressing Tuchel this season. The centre-back opted to remain at Stamford Bridge rather than go out on loan. He has since made appearances in the Super Cup, Champions League and the Prem.
His solid displays have seen him earn a new long-term contract with the Blues. On the defender, Tuchel said: “He can achieve what he wants. It was his childhood dream to play with Chelsea and he is on his best way to having a big impact.
“We are happy he committed and signed his contract. He is living his dream and I am impressed with his maturity. He is so focused, he doesn’t get carried away.”
Tuchel responds to Conte’s Premier League return
The German also reacted after Antonio Conte was confirmed as Tottenham manager. He was in charge of Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, guiding the club to a league title and an FA Cup.
“Of course, it’s good news for the Premier League,” Tuchel added. “He is one of the best managers in the world – look at his records and titles.
“He will make it super tough to play against Tottenham. I am in a happy place and am not concerned about what other people do. I am very happy where I am.”
When asked for an update on injured striker Romelu Lukaku, Tuchel continued: “We have the international break now and then we will be more clear. We will see what is going on during the second week of the international break.”