Chelseas double transfer gaffe laid bare by Gareth Southgates England squad admission

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Chelsea’s transfer business has been called into question after Gareth Southgate admitted that two players who the Blues let go from their squad during the summer only narrowly missed out on their first senior England call-up. Both Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi were among those singled out by the Three Lions manager. 

As has become customary with any England squad announcement, there was plenty of drama when Southgate revealed his chosen 25 to take on Albania and San Marino. 

Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho were two high-profile absentees, while many were calling for Emile Smith Rowe’s maiden call-up too.

Southgate did address the absence of the latter, while citing two more promising stars who were with Chelsea over the summer. 

“Emile, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi, in particular, are all playing very well with their clubs, but we’ve got depth,” he admitted.

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“To put those in we’ve got to leave some of these on the sheet out and I think it’s not a bad thing that we’re starting to get a very strong Under-21 team because you want that depth.

“We fast track lots of young players very quickly and the majority of them are still in this squad now and a lot of them played a big part in the Euros.

“But also we’ve had some that have come up and then when you put them back with the Under-21s that’s a lot more complicated so we want to get the timing of that right.

“We can put them in and they would be absolutely fine by the way. But we think the players we’ve picked are just a little bit ahead at the moment.”

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At least for Chelsea transfer chief Marina Granovskaia, Gallagher is still contracted to the club despite joining Crystal Palace on loan for this season. 

Since heading to Selhurst Park, he has broadly impressed with his relentless energy, tenacity in midfield and blossoming eye for goal. 

So far, he has notched five goal involvements in nine games for a side who have only scored 13 Premier League goals all season. 

Their relatively comfortable position in mid-table, however, is helped by the steadying influence of Guehi at the back. 

The 21-year-old headed to south London on a permanent basis in July, commanding an £18million fee after a successful loan spell with Swansea City. 

Virtually ever-present under Patrick Vieira this campaign, the youngster is notable for his talents on the ball as well as his athleticism off it. 

Those attributes are clearly not going unnoticed by Southgate, who has hinted that he is likely to have a spot in future England squads. 

Whichever way it is spun, Southgate’s admission shows that Chelsea shifted two England-calibre stars out of their squad during the summer when the Premier League title fight is set to be more competitive than ever. 

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