Chelsea find Gallagher upgrade but there’s one BIG problem

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 18 May 2024 07:45 CDT
  • 7 min read
Conor Gallagher, Chelsea, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Chelsea continue to consider the possibility of selling Conor Gallagher this summer, despite the fact that the Stamford Bridge side would need to find a way to replacement.

One of the options presented to the Blues is PSG midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

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TBR reports that Chelsea are monitoring the Uruguay international, who was a player they looked at last summer.

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STATS
Player image Manuel Ugarte
Manuel Ugarte

DM (CRL)

PSG logo

PSG

Manuel Ugarte
Manuel Ugarte

DM (CRL)

PSG

PSG

All Tournaments

2023/24

  • 36

    Games

  • 0

    Goals

  • 2

    Assists

It would be an ambitious move, but one in which there is a certain logic behind.

Under Pochettino, Gallagher has been playing a role similar to the one Ugarte does at PSG – only the Uruguayan does it better.

While Gallagher may naturally be a more box-to-box player with forward-thinking tendencies, Ugarte is the opposite. He will sit and screen. When in possession, he will give the ball to those better equipped to create.

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Current ETV
Player image Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher

M, AM (C), DM (R)

Chelsea logo

Chelsea

Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher

M, AM (C), DM (R)

Chelsea

Chelsea

€44.3M

ETV Range

€33.3M - €55.4M

The South American is a dogged defensive player, who is unquestionably more of a destructive force than anything Chelsea have on their books at present.

Gallagher has often been used as a ball-winning midfielder by Pochettino this season. Almost on third of his game time has come as a defensive midfielder, according to data analytics experts SciSports, who indicate that he has played as a central midfielder and an attacking midfielder in almost equal measure.

By all accounts, Pochettino wants to keep the former Crystal Palace loanee, but in Ugarte, Chelsea would be altering the balance of their side only slightly by becoming more defensively minded but upgrading in this particular area of the field.

Gallagher’s Chelsea role this season vs Ugarte at PSG

Conor Gallagher
2023/2024 | Premier League (ENG)
Defensive midfield (1058 Minutes played)
95% Ball WinningMidfielderHoldingMidfielderDeep LyingPlaymakerBox-to-BoxMidfielder
Manuel Ugarte
2023/2024 | Ligue 1 (FRA)
Defensive midfield (1355 Minutes played)
73% Ball WinningMidfielderHoldingMidfielderDeep LyingPlaymakerBox-to-BoxMidfielder

The stumbling block

The financial aspect of this deal is, however, questionable. Although Ugarte has reportedly been made available for sale by PSG, the Ligue 1 champions will want to recoup as much of the €60 million they paid for him last summer.

Certainly, his performance has been far from catastrophic. There has been a dip in his level towards the end of the season, but he started brilliantly, justifying PSG’s outlay.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are seeking to sell Gallagher to maximise their Profit and Sustainability requirements for the Premier League. He is regarded as a ‘pure profit player’, having come through the academy, so anything they make on him would be pumped back into the transfer budget.

Gallagher, though, is being sold to fund a deal to sign a striker – not his own replacement. By signing an expensive alternative like Ugarte, this would eat into a significant portion of the money and negate the need to sell him in the first place.

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