David Ornstein admits that some people at Chelsea were slightly taken aback by Conor Gallagher’s World Cup call up.

Speaking to the Five Insider, Ornstein explained the shock of a few at Stamford Bridge following Gallagher’s inclusion in the England squad.

The 22-year-old received the all-important message from Gareth Southgate on Thursday, confirming his place in Qatar.

Southgate only handed the midfielder his senior Three Lions debut last November, when he was still at loan with Crystal Palace.

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That terrific solo season at Selhurst Park shunned the player into the international light, a stage he has remained on pretty much ever since.

Yet, despite the England manager clearly favouring Chelsea’s academy graduate, there were several eyebrows raised when he made the 26-man team.

“Conor Gallagher, no doubt he’ll be absolutely made up. You do sense some surprise across the industry, maybe even a few people I’ve spoken to at Chelsea,” said Ornstein.  

“They are obviously delighted for him, but I’m not sure they thought he’d been in. Especially as someone like Ruben Loftus-Cheek has actually been more heavily involved for Chelsea this season than Conor Gallagher has.”

Loftus-Cheek left out

It is true that Loftus-Cheek is above Gallagher for appearances and minutes played this term.

Loftus-Cheek has featured 19 times under Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter in a manner of positions.

He has featured at wing-back, central midfield and in a deeper midfield role.

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His downfall? He hasn’t played for England since 2018.

This can certainly be blamed on the numerous months spent on the treatment table at various occasions in the past four years.

Meanwhile, Gallagher has remained fit and available, winning the trust of Southgate by doing so.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.