Conor Gallagher must cut out worrying statistic if he is to cement a long-term place at Chelsea - TCC View

It’s probably quite a safe bet to say Conor Gallagher has a future at Chelsea.

Whether short or long term, his career will almost certainly be covered in blue at some point.

His numerous loan moves have proved such a prophecy to be pretty accurate.

The latest – and arguably already the best – has furthered such a prediction.

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Perfect Palace partnership

Gallagher joined Crystal Palace in the summer, aware of the shiny possibilities lying in wait.

Regular Premier League football, with a club undergoing exciting changes, managed by one of the division’s greatest purchases.

So far, the move has been everything it was made out to be.

Palace might still be waiting to completely spark into life, but their Chelsea export is yet to face such issues.

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Star of the show in several games this season – with two goals and assists to show for it – Gallagher must be feeling on cloud nine.

He will be soaring even higher if Chelsea decide to keep him on board permanently next year.

A decision that is so far being made very easy.

Conor must be careful

However, there is a catch to this fairy-tale ending.

For all the industrial work, both offensively and defensively, one side of the midfielder’s game does remain a cause for concern.

For Gallagher, his Achilles heel is discipline.

This became particularly prevalent during his previous loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.

Last year, the England Under-21 international made 43 Premier League fouls, nine more than any member of the Baggies squad.

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He also picked up 11 yellow cards, a return only matched by Aston Villa’s John McGinn.

Compare that to the figures Chelsea’s central midfielders amassed in 2020/21, the difference is startling.

N’Golo Kante fouled 36 times, Jorginho 32, Mateo Kovacic 16.

In terms of bookings, Kante received seven, Kovacic four, Jorginho two.

The last Blues player to collect anything higher than 11 yellows was Branislav Ivanovic (12) way back in 2010/11.

Unfortunately, Gallagher’s self-control hasn’t improved in a Palace shirt.

Already on 14 fouls (joint third-most in the division) and two cautions for the term, the Cobham graduate continues to walk a thin tight rope.

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Such poor restraint will certainly not sit well with Thomas Tuchel.

Talent can get you so far, yet if the finer details are not ironed out, the road can end pretty quickly.

And while Gallagher will not want to lose the aggression which has made him such a start, if he is to make the grade at Chelsea he may need to work on limiting the amount of times he gets penalised per game.

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"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced 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. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."