'Perfect for Gareth': Ian Wright says Chelsea have produced Southgate's ideal England player

Ian Wright suggested that the Chelsea construction line had created the ‘perfect’ midfielder for Gareth Southgate in the form of Conor Gallagher.

Speaking on ITV after England annihilated San Marino 10-0 in their World Cup qualifying fixture, Wright gave Gallagher a glowing review.

The 21-year-old made his first senior Three Lions appearance last night, having been promoted from the juniors by Southgate.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

He came on at the interval and although failed to score, looked every bit the international player people expected him to be.

Granted, the opponents may well have not bothered turning up.

But you can only beat what is in front of you, and England did just that, with style.

Gallagher contributed to the onslaught, perhaps not directly, yet his constant runs beyond the San Marino defence caused mayhem.

His excellent induction into the squad will certainly give Southgate food for thought ahead of the competition in Qatar next year.  

All right with Wright

“I watched him in the Under-21s, he’s too good for the Under-21s,” said Wright about the Crystal Palace loanee’s call-up from the youth team.  

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

“I’m quite pleased they promoted him. It’s his form for West Brom and now for Palace that I think has got him in there.

“Again, another young player that deserves his chance. Hopefully, he can continue what he’s doing at Palace, so that it can keep him in amongst it.”

Based on his early-season form with Palace, Gallagher should still be in contention for an England spot when the tournament selection process comes around again.

Four goals and two assists in 11 games for Patrick Vieira’s side is the kind of return that cannot be ignored by an international manager.

Not to mention the Chelsea hierarchy, who may want to reclaim their academy graduate next summer.

Prince of the Palace

“You look at the way Palace are playing; they are very much on the front foot. There’s a lot of confidence in the team,” continued Wright.

“Patrick has really got them going. And he (Gallagher) is one of the mainstays of that.

Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images

“He presses high. He’s either in the no.4, he can be a six or an eight. He’s somebody who can be anywhere in and around that midfield and he’s comfortable.

“So, it’s the kind of midfielder that’s perfect for Gareth.”

Slightly unfortunately for Gallagher, England’s central midfield area is already stacked with quality.

Regulars Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Philips and Jude Bellingham have James Ward-Prowse snapping at their heels.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley’s revival at Chelsea might also give Southgate a few more headaches.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Yet, Gallagher’s cause will not have been harmed in the slightest by his latest showing.

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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.