Chelsea loanee Gallagher tearing it up for Crystal Palace

Robin Bairner
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring for Crystal Palace against West Ham

Crystal Palace may be waiting for their first Premier League win of the season, but in Conor Gallagher they have secured a gem of a player from Chelsea on loan.

Gallagher moved to Patrick Vieira’s men a highly rated prospect, having impressed during a temporary move to West Brom last season, but he has already shown he has taken his level up a notch this term.

Indeed, he managed only two goals for WBA during his loan stint at the Hawthorns – a tally he has matched in just two outings for Crystal Palace.

Gallagher was in particularly eye-catching form during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham. Had it not been for the excellence of the 21-year-old, it is a game his side would have left with nothing. In the event, they might even have won it.

The England Under-21 prospect got both of Palace’s goals. His first was a composed finish after a Christian Benteke knockdown but his second was more spectacular as he gathered possession in a tight space in the box before showing sharp footwork to create room and fire home.

A fine late free kick set up fellow Chelsea academy product Marc Guehi, but he headed over when he perhaps should have done better.

Gallagher was comprehensively his side’s outstanding player as he contributed going both ways. He regularly probed with passes in behind but was equally a solid defensive presence and timed his runs into the box well. By full-time, he had 96% passing accuracy.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, he explained: “To score a couple of goals was amazing for me personally. I want to be an all-round midfielder and effect the game as much as I can. I want to get in the box and score goals.”

Chelsea will be keeping close tabs on Gallagher over the course of the season, but his time at Crystal Palace suggests that his long-term future could be at Stamford Bridge.