Conor Gallagher is not expecting to return to Chelsea in January from his loan at Crystal Palace amid a midfield injury crisis in west London, football.london understands.
The 21-year-old has been having a superb season under the watchful eye of Patrick Vieira at Selhurst Park having joined the club on loan for the 2021/22 from Chelsea.
Gallagher has scored four goals and assisted three more in 14 Premier League appearances for Palace this season and his form saw him rewarded with a senior England call-up for the first time for the World Cup qualifying victory over San Marino last month.
Gallagher’s performances for Palace have already seen Thomas Tuchel asked whether he could recall the winger from his loan in January to add more depth to Chelsea’s midfield.
“Actually I haven’t thought about it,” Tuchel said in mid-November.
“I think it is important for him to be happy where he is and not change things. It is important to be calm, I feel him happy there and that he is having this impact at Crystal Palace.
“It is too early to talk about that in public before we talk with Conor himself and what his goals are. This will happen in the summer as we all agreed to the decision that we wanted to send him to Palace.
“He saw a possibility for him. I am not surprised the national coach loves him because I loved him from day one. Humble, nice, smile on his face and all the time ready to give everything, want to learn and improve.
“As a teammate, I would have loved to play with him. It is a pleasure to know him, I am super happy that it has worked out so well. He needs to keep his feet on the ground.”
football.london has been told that while Gallagher would return to Chelsea if he was asked to head back next month, he doesn’t expect to be recalled.
The academy graduate is enjoying his time in south London under the tutelage of Vieira and is fully prepared to return to Chelsea in the summer and fight for a first-team place next season in 2022/23 with this current season being great for his development as a player.
His parent club are having some big issues in midfield, with four senior players missing the 3-3 draw in the Champions League with Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday night.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic were all ruled out through injury before the team departed for Russia and things got worse before kick-off when Ruben Loftus-Cheek picked up an injury in the warm-up. Reece James played the full 90 in the middle of the park while Ross Barkley also started in St Petersburg.
Kante has missed the last four games with an unspecified injury, Jorginho has been playing through back pain for a couple of weeks and Kovacic has returned to full training after a hamstring injury, but tested positive for Covidf-19 earlier this week.
Tuchel sent both Gallagher and Billy Gilmour away on Premier League loans in the summer, with Gilmour joining Norwich City under Daniel Farke. The German froze the Blues midfielder out of his lineup but since the arrival of Dean Smith, Gilmour has started the last four games for the Canaries.
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