Vieira makes Gallagher comparison Chelsea fans will love, as midfielder lauded
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira believes loanee Conor Gallagher has striking similarities with a Chelsea legend.
Gallagher is Palace’s top scorer in the Premier League this season following his brace during the 3-1 win over Everton. Those goals took him up to six in 15 games, ahead of forwards Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke.
The central midfielder is not just scoring, he is taking his chances emphatically. His injury-time goal against the Toffees was a curling strike which crashed into the net off the crossbar.
Gallagher’s form has unsurprisingly led to rumours of a permanent switch to Selhurst Park. However, it would take a mammoth bid to sign him from Chelsea.
The young talent will undoubtedly start against Southampton on Wednesday evening, barring an injury. Ahead of the league match, Vieira compared Gallagher to Blues legend Frank Lampard.
“Conor has this passion for the game when he is on the field like a Ray Parlour, but I would say he has maybe the quality finishing of a Frank Lampard,” the manager said.
“It is a manager’s dream to have a player like Conor because when he is on the field, he will give everything.
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“He is focused, concentrated and will always give his best. This is something that for me is really important.”
When asked about what is driving Gallagher’s development, Vieira continued: “I think it is his determination to progress. Every time he is putting his feet on the field, he wants to improve and to challenge himself.
“We know his quality and we know he can be box-to-box. He can score goals but what is really impressive with him is his work ethic in training every day.
“When you have that kind of determination to challenge yourself and to improve, you will have more chance to succeed.”
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No matter how good of a season Gallagher has, he will face a tough test to break into the Chelsea team next season.
Thomas Tuchel can already rely on Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in central midfield. Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also at his disposal.
Former Palace boss Sam Allardyce reckons Gallagher needs to avoid the fate of Man Utd outcast Jesse Lingard.
“Well I wouldn’t spend too long there [at Chelsea] if I don’t get into the first team,” he said.
“I’d want to come back and give it a go, I think on his form at the moment.
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“He would want to go back and try and get in the team but I think if you do that, you’ve got to play enough first team games. If you don’t you can easily fall backwards like Jesse Lingard.
“Staying at Man United I think has been a bad choice for him because he’s not been selected.
“While at West Ham he was one of the best goalscoring midfield players in the Premier League in his time there now he’s sitting on the bench at Man United.
“So you have to be very careful on your choices at the right time.”
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