Crystal Palace have confirmed the loan signing of Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher for the 2021/22 season.
As exclusively revealed by football.london last week, the Eagles and Leeds United both made their pitches to the Blues midfielder to entice him away from Stamford Bridge temporarily but it’s Patrick Vieira’s side who won the race.
They’ve raided the Blues for a second time so far this summer, having also signed Marc Guehi from west London but that was on a permanent basis for a fee believed to be £18million.
Gallagher enjoyed an excellent loan at West Bromwich Albion last season having been on the verge of joining Palace initially before they pulled the plug and opted to bring back Michy Batshuayi from the Blues instead.
Gallagher’s stock rose during his spell at The Hawthorns despite their relegation back to the Championship and Palace have returned for him as they rebuild their squad this summer as Vieira replaced Roy Hodgson as head coach.
Alongside Guehi and Gallagher, the Eagles have signed Michael Olise from Reading and Joachim Andersen from Lyon, who impressed at Fulham on loan last season.
Sources have told football.london that Gallagher has impressed Thomas Tuchel in pre-season and the midfielder’s priority was always to force his way into the Blues Premier League midfield for the club he has been with since an under-8.
But the German couldn’t guarantee the 21-year-old regular top flight minutes ahead of the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic so Gallagher has decided to spend some more time away from Stamford Bridge.
He also spoke to Tuchel at Cobham earlier this week, prior to the Bournemouth friendly on Tuesday, to ask where he could improve to become a better player and force his way into Tuchel’s side.
The German then played Gallagher for 90 minutes, the only Blues player to get the full run-out, during the 2-1 win at Dean Court as Chelsea kicked off their pre-season campaign “officially” in front of supporters.
This will be Gallagher’s fourth loan spell away from Chelsea having spent time at West Brom, Swansea and Charlton Athletic previously.