Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Vieira lauds Gallagher despite FA Cup blow; says replacement ‘difficult’ to find

Patrick Vieira and Conor Gallagher of Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira has praised Conor Gallagher despite the midfielder’s FA Cup disappointment and revealed a replacement is ‘difficult’ to find.

Gallagher played a full 90 minutes as Crystal Palace beat Everton 4-0 in the FA Cup quarter-final. However, he will not be able to face parent club Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

That is due to the terms of his loan agreement from the Stamford Bridge club.

Thomas Tuchel recently spoke about Palace’s request to allow the energetic 22-year-old to feature. However, it was pushed back and Tuchel made a public apology to Gallagher.

Prior to the clash, Vieira has given his verdict on the situation and talked about how hard it is to find another player with Gallagher’s attributes.

“He is professional enough to understand the situation and deal with it, but of course there is the expression on the face and that doesn’t lie,” the Eagles boss said.

Conor Gallagher ‘difficult’ to replace

“It is difficult to find in the squad a player with Conor’s type of energy. We have different profiles and players who can score goals and create chances maybe more than Conor can do.

“Of course his profile is different, but we have players who are capable of bringing something different to the team.”

According to Vieira, Gallagher has been impressive in training and is working as if he will receive a starting place at Wembley.

“Conor has been like he is starting the game. He has been working well, working hard,” the Frenchman added.

“We gave him a couple of days (off) in the week, but he is preparing himself like he is going to play and that is what makes him really special.”

Conor Gallagher plays for England

Chelsea are facing a big decision at the end of the season when it comes to Gallagher. Clubs are queuing up to sign him, either permanently or on loan, while Tuchel could give the Englishman a first-team spot in west London.

Former Chelsea coach Jody Morris recently told the Blues to act fast over Gallagher’s future.

“A lot of Chelsea fans won’t like me saying this, but if you’re Conor Gallagher and you’re looking at your future, you’re thinking, ‘no one is guaranteed to play week-in, week-out at Chelsea’.

“Conor would want to know that the manager believes in him and is willing to give him an opportunity to showcase his talent in the first team.

Gallagher will have ‘serious takers’ this summer

“And, let me tell you, there would be a lot of takers, and I’m talking about serious takers throughout Europe, who’ll be keeping an eye on his situation. He’s certainly put himself in the shop window.

“He could be like a massive summer signing for Chelsea when he returns to the club at the end of the season.

“You only have to look at what happened to Mason Mount and his career when he came back from Derby. Tammy Abraham produced as well.

“There’s really no reason why clubs shouldn’t be giving these players a real opportunity, regardless of whether you’re a top four club or not.”

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