Midfielder Conor Gallagher admits the prospect of working with Patrick Vieira made leaving Chelsea for a loan spell with Crystal Palace an easy decision.
Gallagher, 21, has penned a one-year deal with the Eagles. The England Under-21 ace has been with the Blues since the age of eight but has yet to make a senior appearance. Loan spells at Charlton Athletic, Swansea and, last season, West Brom have given him plenty of first-team action.
But it seemed as though he did not feature in Thomas Tuchel’s plans for 2021-2022. Palace were more than happy to snap him up for a temporary spell.
Chelsea Under-23 ace Marc Guehi was a £21m capture and goalkeeper Remi Matthews arrived on a free transfer. Midfielder Jacob Montes departed New England Revolution and is also at the club.
Gallagher may not be the last signing of the summer. And the youngster confessed that Vieira’s footballing philosophy aided his move across the capital.
“I liked what he said, I liked how he wants to play, how he wants me to play and how he wants the team to play,” he told the Palace website. “I feel like I can learn from him and the players around me. I think that’s the main thing.
“I feel like [playing box to box] suits me perfectly, which is one of the reasons why I came here and is the way he wants to play as well. Hopefully that can help me show what I can do.”
Gallagher relishing defender reunion
Gallagher spent several years in the Chelsea youth setup. He made 16 appearances for the club’s Under-23s in the 2018-2019 campaign.
Guehi was also in the Chelsea academy and knows his former team-mate well. And the duo were loaned to Swansea at the same time, playing together in the Championship.
They also played in the same England youth teams and Gallagher is looking forward to meeting up with his old colleague.
“It seems like we can’t leave each other alone,” he added. “We grew up through the academy at Chelsea, we were at Swansea together and now we’re here, so we’re like best mates. I’m really happy he’s here.”
“Playing for your country is always an honour and we played there together throughout the [England] age groups from Under-17s to Under-21s, so it’s been a great journey. It’s just the start, really.”