Patrick Vieira insists he’s unable to comment on his chances of making Conor Gallagher’s stay at Crystal Palace a permanent one – but has made a big admission about the on-loan Chelsea midfielder.
The England Under-21 midfielder opted to join the Eagles on a season-long loan from the Blues. As we exclusively revealed, Gallagher opted for Palace ahead of rival interest from Leeds. And it’s a decision that has so far paid dividends; Gallagher has been a constant in the Palace midfield, making nine appearances and scoring twice.
That has led to speculation that Palace will look to make his signing a permanent one from Chelsea. And while Vieira admits that working with the player is “a joy”, he insists it is too soon for such talk.
“Working with Conor, it’s a joy really because he is a player who wants to fill his potential, he wants to learn and he wants to work hard and he’s bringing this energy to the team,” the Palace manager said.
“The staff and myself are really enjoying working with him. He comes in every morning with a big smile on his face. He’s also leaving the training ground with a big smile as well.
“When he’s on the field he’s working hard every single day and he is a player that wants to fulfil his potential. I think that is a really important tool to have as a player, to improve yourself and keep challenging yourself.”
Asked if Palace will push to sign Gallagher on a permanent basis, Vieira was giving little away.
“It’s really too early to talk about these kind of decisions,” added Vieira.
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“We are really glad that he decided to come to our football club. And I think we had the tools to attract him to our football club and I believe he made the right decision.
“What will happen in the future I think we have to wait a couple of months to talk about that.”
Vieira ready for Man City test
Palace face Manchester City on Saturday in what appears a daunting test. They are looking to become the first team to score against Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad in the Premier League this season.
Vieira is no stranger to the club having played there for one season towards the end of his career.
He also credits Guardiola with his development as a coach.
“We didn’t speak for quite a long time (after City). But it was really helpful because when I was doing my badges and when he was at Bayern Munich he opened the doors for me to look at the full session,” Vieira said.
“He spent some time with me after training or even in the evening. That shows just showed the kind of person he is. It was a real privilege for me to spend that quality time with him.”