Now that Crystal Palace have announced the loan signing of Conor Gallagher from Chelsea, there will be excitement from both sets of fans when you consider what the Athletic reported on how he’ll be used.
Gallagher remains in London despite significant interest from Leeds United in his services, the 21-year-old even visited the training ground where Marcelo Bielsa works his magic before Palace’s late bid.
The Athletic report that new Palace boss and Premier League legend Patrick Vieira intends to use Gallagher as one of ‘two slightly more advanced central midfielders’ in a 4-3-3 formation.
Vieira is slated to deploy an attacking system that is possession-focused, something that will allow Gallagher to show his ability further up the pitch after his time West Bromwich Albion last season.
Gallagher was used in box-to-box role and provided the energy in the middle of the park for the Baggies, but we didn’t see much glimpses of the contributions he can make in the final third due to his defensive responsibilities for the side that leaked goals on the way to relegation.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 30, 2021
Considering that Gallagher has had this to say to Palace after completing the move, it’s safe to say that he welcomes Vieira’s plans wholeheartedly:
“I spoke to the manager, I liked what he said, I liked how he wants to play, how he wants me to play and how he wants the team to play. I feel like I can learn from him and the players around me.”
Gallagher was still a solid performer as he started 28 of his 30 Premier League appearances with West Brom, he’ll be looking to build on that momentum as he takes on a different role next season.
Whilst a more advanced midfield role is different to what Gallagher did last season, it is not new territory for the England Under-21s international at all.
Gallagher showed his ability to find the back of the net with six goals during his time with Charlton before going onto to craft six assists for Swansea as he starred in two loan spells during 19/20.
The energetic midfielder shouldn’t find it hard to settle either, as he’s shown in taking to life quickly at Charlton, Swansea and Albion, whilst he’ll also have the comfort of staying in London with the Eagles.
If that wasn’t enough, Gallagher will reunite with Chelsea academy teammate Marc Guehi at Palace, the centre-back has just secured a permanent transfer after a brilliant loan spell at Swansea.
Gallagher looks to be an addition that will compliment a Palace midfield that will likely deploy defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic as it’s anchor.
The Chelsea man will likely be tasked with showcasing his bundles of energy once again and it will be interesting to see which other No.8 Vieira pairs the talent with in a 4-3-3.