Conor Gallagher says he is enjoying training under Thomas Tuchel as speculation continues about another loan exit from Chelsea.
Gallagher was on loan at West Brom last season, which was his third spell away from his parent club. This one gave him his first taste of Premier League football and, although West Brom were relegated, he impressed. The midfielder scored two goals and assisted another two from 30 appearances in the top-flight.
Before Chelsea’s meeting with West Brom in April, Tuchel suggested Gallagher could have a future back at Stamford Bridge. The coach was not at the club when they loaned Gallagher out, but now will be involved in the decision-making process over his next step.
At the time, Tuchel said he found Gallagher’s development “very impressive”, but it was not the moment to think about his future.
If it wasn’t then, it is now, as the 21-year-old has returned to his parent club for pre-season training. They must work out whether he can have an impact or if another loan spell would be more beneficial.
Reports have suggested they are leaning towards the latter option, which may alert Newcastle or Crystal Palace.
However, he is currently training with Chelsea ahead of the new season and has revealed his feelings about his current situation.
“It’s great to be back,” he told Chelsea’s website in between pre-season training sessions.
“I’m enjoying seeing some old friends who I’ve grown up with through the Academy and to train under the manager has obviously been great as well.
“The sessions have been tough but really good so I’ve enjoyed the first few days.”
Gallagher first cut his teeth with spells in the Championship for Charlton and Swansea, in either half of the 2019-20 season.
The midfielder believes he has learned something from all three of his spells away from the club which can help him going forwards.
“I’ve loved every loan I’ve been on and every game I’ve played,” he said. “It’s been great meeting new people, playing with a load of different players and under different managers. It’s all about getting different experiences.
“With Sam [Allardyce] at West Brom, it was more about the dirty side and doing that well, whereas at Swansea it was about runs in behind and creating chances. Each manager has helped improve different areas of my game, which has been so valuable for my development.
“I’ve definitely improved as a player in the past two years and a lot of that is down to the four managers I’ve played under and their different styles of play. I’ve just loved every minute of it and I want to push on even more now.”
Gallagher ready to play anywhere
Chelsea’s midfield has plenty of options at present, so it may be hard for Gallagher to force his way in. However, his versatility could be beneficial; he thinks he is capable of performing in any midfield role.
He said: “I think of myself as an all-round midfielder. I like to play box to box and just be busy on the pitch, try to create chances and do my defensive work as well.
“I feel like I can play anywhere in midfield, whether it’s deeper or further forward. I’m happy to do whatever and I’m good enough to do that.
“I know defensive intelligence is something that I can improve on so I’ve been working on that last season and now during pre-season. I’ve been told I need to get better at that so I’m focusing on it.
“I’m only 21 so I feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience already and developed a lot as a player. It’s still just the start because I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I know I can go even further.”