'I'm good at': Eight-goal midfielder shares his strong points ahead of imminent Chelsea return
Versatile midfielder Conor Gallagher has had his say on his play style ahead of his imminent Chelsea return this summer.
The 22-year-old’s impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace has come to an end as he left the club with the player of the season award.
After racking up eight goals and three assists in the Premier League in 2021/22, it is safe to say that Gallagher has made a strong case why he deserves a spot in Thomas Tuchel’s squad in the upcoming season.
He will, of course, face competition from other returning loanees; Billy Gilmour and Ethan Ampadu.
Having mostly played as a number eight in Patrick Vieira’s 4-3-3 formation, Gallagher will likely have to adapt to Tuchel’s 3-4-3.
A centre-midfielder in Tuchel’s system obviously does not have the freedom that he used to have at Palace, but the England international seemed confident with his versatility.
“I know what I’m good at and what I need to improve on, so I’ll be focused on that,” the midfielder told the media ahead of England’s Nations League match against Hungary on Saturday (via Chelsea’s official website).
“I feel like runs into the box I’m good at, and I can win the ball back well and press well. I like to score goals and I want to score more.
“I can be more aware on the ball in deeper areas and have a better vision sometimes.
“There are loads of things and I could go on for ages, but I’m very determined to work hard and improve as a footballer still.”
Gallagher ideal for counter-pressing in Tuchel’s Chelsea
His goalscoring instinct aside, Gallagher caught a lot of attention at Palace for his defensive work rate.
He ranked first at Selhurst Park in terms of pressuring opponents (781 times, according to Statsbomb via Fbref) in the Premier League.
This is even more than Mason Mount who led the charts at Chelsea (668), both having similar success rate (almost 29 percent).
Tuchel often put emphasis on how important it is for his players to win the ball higher up the pitch in his system, and Gallagher’s relentless work rate could certainly help.