Why Leeds United should go all out for Conor Gallagher next summer
According to The Sun (November 15; Page 62), Leeds United are among a trio of Premier League clubs planning to launch a bid for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who is currently out on loan at top-flight rivals West Brom.
As per the report, Newcastle and Crystal Palace are also mulling over a potential deal for the 20-year-old next summer when he returns to West London following the end of his loan agreement at the Hawthorns. It is understood that Chelsea have already received numerous enquiries for Gallagher, with several PL clubs interested in signing the midfield enforcer on a permanent deal in 2021.
Conor Gallagher joined Chelsea’s youth system at the age of 8 back in 2008 and caught the eye with his rapid progress. He impressed for the Blues at U-18 and U-23 levels and won the club’s Academy Player of the Year at the end of the 2018-19 season.
The 20-year-old was loaned out to Charlton Athletic in the Championship last summer as Chelsea opted to give the youngster his first taste of professional football. Gallagher rose to the challenge and amassed impressive returns of 6 goals and 2 assists in 26 league appearances for the Addicks during the first half of the previous campaign.
Gallagher was subsequently loaned out to fellow second-tier outfit Swansea City in January and he played a key role towards the second half of last season as the Swans made it all the way through to the semi-final of the Playoffs, registering 7 assists in 21 appearances.
The midfielder joined newly-promoted West Brom on loan this past summer and has already proven himself to be a cut above the rest at the Hawthorns despite playing just 360 minutes in the top-flight so far. Gallagher is yet to make his senior debut for England but remains a regular fixture for his nation’s U-21 side.
Gallagher would add more depth to Leeds’ midfield
Leeds United roped in quality players like Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha to bolster their attack in the summer after securing promotion to the Premier League. Robin Koch and Diego Llorente also came through the door at Elland Road to improve Marcelo Bielsa’s backline but the Whites were unsuccessful in their attempts to add to their midfield cavalry.
Lack of fresh recruits in the middle of the park has already come back to haunt Leeds in the opening rounds of the ongoing campaign. Bielsa has called upon unproven youngsters Pascal Struijk and Jamie Shackleton to fill in the boots of Kalvin Phillips at the base of the midfield, but neither has really looked comfortable in the top-flight.
The Whites also lack quality alternatives to take the pressure off the likes of Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez, with the latter nearing his twilight at 35. Leeds should, therefore, look to strengthen in the midfield department moving forward and Conor Gallagher could be an excellent addition to their ranks for a number of reasons.
The 20-year-old has made a sparkling start to life in the Premier League after shining on loan at Charlton and Swansea in the Championship last term. Gallagher has already shown that he has the potential to make the grade in the top-flight.
Hence, Leeds can certainly afford to look at him as a long-term solution to their midfield woes, with the Chelsea starlet still having his best years ahead of him.
Besides that, a potential deal for Gallagher next summer would hand a significant boost to Bielsa’s dynamics in the middle. The youngster has the versatility to switch between No.10 and No.8 roles, complementing his creativity with his uncompromised work rate.
As evident fro his heat map in the Championship last season, Gallagher not only adept at getting himself into dangerous areas in the final third to pull the strings but also has the awareness to track back and help out his team in the defensive phase of play.
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Leeds United need to continue adding quality players to their squad to keep progressing in the right direction and Conor Gallagher ticks a lot of boxes at Elland Road.
Bielsa has all the experience in the world when it comes to transforming talented youngsters into quality players at the highest level and Gallagher would surely benefit massively from playing under the charismatic Argentine boss.