Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher view ‘changed’ as Crystal Palace star’s meteoric rise explained

Tuchel previews Chelsea's Premier League clash with Wolves

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Chelsea’s view on Conor Gallagher has been ‘changed’ by the midfielder’s stunning rise over the past couple of years. The club were not convinced Gallagher had the talent to break into their team when they sent him on loan to the Championship two years ago, but he has proven his doubters wrong and is now a fully-fledged England international with what looks like a bright future at Chelsea.

Before this season, Gallagher had experienced senior football at Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion.

But he has flourished into a different beast under iconic midfielder Patrick Viera’s guidance, scoring six goals and providing three assists in 16 Premier League games.

His form has not gone unnoticed with Gareth Southgate recruiting him into his England set-up earlier this year and handing him a senior debut against San Marino in November.

Amid his stunning form at club level, many expect him to feature in Thomas Tuchel’s plans in west London next term.

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Lee Bowyer managed Gallagher at Charlton Athletic during his first loan spell away from Chelsea in the first half of the 2019/20 season.

He impressed many, scoring six goals in 26 appearances and earning an England under-21s call-up, and his performances attracted Premier League interest.

Bowyer believes Chelsea were unsure of his ability and sent him there to see whether he would ‘sink or swim’ in senior football, with Charlton in the Championship at the time.

He told The Times: “I don’t think they knew where or what he could go on to be. They wanted him to go on loan and see.

“Sometimes when a club sends a player on loan it’s either sink or swim and, thankfully for Conor, he started swimming. Now he’s developed into this top-class player. He’s got everything.”

Bowyer believes Gallgher’s hunger to succeed has set him apart from the rest on his rise to stardom in the top-flight.

“The biggest thing for me was that he’s a winner, and it hurts him, like really hurts him, when you lose a game,” Bowyer continued.

“Some lads now, you see them walk off the pitch, and you think, ‘Are you really affected? Are you going to have a sleepless night?’ In Conor’s case, yes.

“To get to where he is now, that’s hunger. That’s not something given to you; you have to fight for that.

“And that’s why he’s now in the Premier League, made an England debut, coming from nowhere, and gone from strength to strength.”

And judging by Tuchel’s recent comments on Gallagher, Chelsea have removed all doubt over his qualities and he is undoubtedly part of the German tactician’s long-term plans at Stamford Bridge.

He told reporters: “I [have] said many times how much we like Conor and how well he’s doing. Nothing has changed. We saw his goals. We see his performances all the time.

“There’s absolutely no regret [about loaning him out] because maybe it seems like it was the perfect decision for him, and we discussed mainly for him what the best option was in the summer.

“You cannot apply the circumstances from now to a decision from July. It simply is not possible. We did what we did and we are very happy with it, because obviously it works out for Conor.”

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