Paul Merson hails performances of 21-year-old on Chelsea books

‘Every single time he plays’: Paul Merson says what’s impressive about 21-year-old on Chelsea’s books

Paul Merson has said there is a 21-year-old on the Chelsea books that is affecting matches this season whenever he steps on the pitch.

The high-profile pundit has been keen to highlight the quality of Conor Gallagher this season.

Gallagher, 21, is a super talent to come through the Blues academy system at Cobham.

The box-to-box midfielder was loaned out by Chelsea this season to Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, which has turned out to be a masterstroke by the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge. 

Merson feels Gallagher has wrongly been overlooked for a first call up to England’s senior squad this week. Instead, he’s representing the Under-21s side during the international break. 

“Conor Gallagher should be in the England squad and it’s shocked me that Gareth Southgate has snubbed him. He’s been one of the best players in the country this season for Crystal Palace and I don’t think he could have done any more to earn a call up,” Merson said.

“Chelsea loanee Gallagher deserves to be in there and if he hasn’t got a call-up up now I don’t know how he ever will.

“He affects games every single time he plays and he’s completely and utterly on top of his game. I think he’s really unlucky.”

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Loan system a real for Chelsea

Of course, not every single one of the players Chelsea loan out will make it at the Bridge. It’s a great opportunity for individuals to carve out futures at the top level, though. 

The Blues should persist with their methods because it’s already helped the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James fast-track into the senior squad.

Gallagher is one man out on loan right now destined for the Chelsea first team.

If he keeps performing at this rate in the Premier League, Thomas Tuchel should have no fear about throwing him into his squad next season.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Gallagher has big fan club

Merson isn’t the only person to share his admiration for Gallagher this season.

Thierry Henry called the Chelsea loanee “outstanding” back in September. Meanwhile, Chris Sutton said at the same time he “doesn’t stop running.

There is so much to love about Gallagher’s game as a box-to-box midfielder because he works his socks off for 90 minutes. 

For Chelsea, the end product of four goals and two assists in the Premier League this season for Palace must be just as enjoyable as his overall work rate.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.