Conor Gallagher is the star of Crystal Palace’s new youth club… the on-loan Chelsea midfielder continued his fine start to the season with a brace against West Ham – and now the Eagles are targeting more new faces this week
- Crystal Palace drew 2-2 with West ham in the Premier League on Saturday
- The Hammers took the lead twice but Conor Gallagher responded both time
- The 21-year-old Chelsea loanee has been impressive so far this season
Along with Crystal Palace, Chelsea could be the big beneficiaries of the south London club’s shift in transfer policy.
Palace targeted young players this summer in a bid to lower the age of their squad. Will Hughes became their oldest outfield addition on Saturday aged 26 with the rest 25 or under.
Midfielder Conor Gallagher fits the age profile but, unlike his fellow arrivals, only joined on loan. On the evidence of his first two league games Gallagher will return to Chelsea much improved. Either ready to challenge for a place in their squad or significantly higher in value.
On the evidence of his first two league games Conor Gallagher will return to Chelsea much improved
Gallagher followed his tenacious debut against Brentford with a two-goal display at West Ham
Gallagher, 21, followed his tenacious, man-of-the-match debut against Brentford with a two-goal display at West Ham.
Manager Patrick Vieira said: ‘Conor had a really good loan (at West Brom) last year. He is a player that needs to play week in and week out and coming to us was a really smart move for him because we will give him time to keep playing and to keep performing.
‘He showed a lot of quality in both sides of the game, in possession and out of possession. He has a lot of energy. He will do well for us.’
A knock-on benefit of their new policy, Palace hope, will be financial. Signing younger players with sell-on value will leave them better placed to recoup some money when the time comes for them to move on.
Patrick Vieira admitted he wants to have more options up front ahead of Tuesday’s deadline
This summer Palace said farewell to nine senior players who left for nothing at the end of their contracts. Eight were 30 or over and six of those cost a combined £61million. Connor Wickham, 28, signed for £9m in 2015, was also let go. All money Palace have effectively waved goodbye to.
Their new approach should help address that situation and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard, 23, or Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah, 22, could be next in.
Ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline, Vieira said: ‘We want to have more options up front and with the chairman (Steve Parish) and (sporting director) Dougie Freedman we are working on trying to find that player that will improve the squad.’
West Ham led twice through Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio, the former’s brilliant opener a fitting way to mark his Spain recall last week.
‘It is massive for me,’ Fornals said. ‘But it is not just for me, it shows the great shape the team is in right now, how we are playing and working.’
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