Ian Wright insisted Conor Gallagher has shown Chelsea enough consistency during his loan spells that he deserves a place in their squad.
The 21-year-old is currently on a season-long loan spell at Crystal Palace, having spent last season on loan at West Brom.
He has had two goals and one assist from eight Premier League appearances this season — which is not bad considering he often plays as part of Patrick Vieira’s midfield three.
Gallagher has averaged 2.1 shots and 1.1 key passes per game, the highest and the second-highest at Palace, respectively.
Defensively, he made 2.1 tackles per game, the second-most at the club.
It was hardly a surprise that even Jamie Carragher was impressed by Gallagher’s all-round abilities.
Similarly, Wright has heaped praise on the former Chelsea academy player of the year, highlighting his consistency, in particular.
“Being a Chelsea fan, he’s obviously driven to try to get back there and be where he wants to be,” the Arsenal icon said on The Kelly and Wrighty show (via Optus Sport).
“He’s one of those players — when I watch him, he’s never less than seven out of 10.
“He’s consistently good in every game I’ve seen him play.
“Obviously, he has had to go on loan. [But] he’s showing Chelsea exactly what he’s got. Now you can’t ignore him.
“I think for him, it’s even tougher. Because he’s had to go out from Chelsea, go somewhere like West Brom who got relegated [despite] being the best player there, come to Palace and still be the standout.
“It’s unbelievable how he’s doing this.”
Fierce competition for spots at Chelsea
It is safe to say that the competition in Thomas Tuchel’s squad has been Gallagher’s biggest stumbling block in his path to Chelsea’s first team.
Tuchel has plenty of experienced midfield options in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic. Not to mention the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley, who are also vying for these midfield spots.
The Blues manager has repeatedly spoken about the importance of integrating academy products into the first team, though. And Gallagher should be one of the first names in the discussion if Tuchel was to promote an academy graduate.