England striker Harry Kane has labelled Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher as “great” after what he did in the Three Lions’ latest international fixture against Switzerland.
Gareth Southgate’s side had fallen behind midway through the first half after Borussia Monchengladbach’s Breel Embolo had headed the away side in front after some sustained pressure on the England goal. Before half-time though, Gallagher played a big role by setting up Luke Shaw, who added another Wembley goal after his Italy strike in the Euro 2020 final last summer.
The 22-year-old was withdrawn in the second half but that wasn’t due to his performance, more to give others minutes. But as Jamie Redknapp alluded to after the game, his performance in this fixture if backed up by an impressive Ivory Coast performance could give Southgate a big selection headache ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
“I have to be totally honest, I really like him but I didn’t see him becoming the player he has,” he said pre-match on Sky Sports. “I watched him a lot in the Chelsea youth team and he was a good technical player, what’s made the difference for him is confidence and scoring goals. When you see yourself in headlines, scoring goals live on Sky against Everton, they are the moments where everyone talks about you. People will go out in the garden and try and replicate those moments. He’s nicking in with goals, scruffy goals, getting his numbers up, that’s what gets you noticed.
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“I think as a footballer you notice that. When you’re playing okay, getting 7/10 that’s fine. It’s when you start scoring goals, that’s what gets you on the back pages, that’s when people start to talk about you in a different light as a midfield player. He’s become a complete one.” After Gallagher’s big involvement in the all-important equaliser in this fixture, England began to dominate the proceedings in the second half and were rewarded courtesy of a late penalty that Kane tucked away as he moved level with Bobby Charlton on all-time England goals, just four short of Wayne Rooney’s record.
Post-match, alongside reflecting on the goal itself and the fact he personally moved closer to a record he could break against the African side next week, the Spurs striker also had time to comment on the loanee who could have a big future at Chelsea as football.london understands that manager Thomas Tuchel is interested in a squad role for the midfielder next season. If Tuchel needs anymore convincing like he admitted to earlier this season, Kane himself has put in a great reference for the Crystal Palace No.23 with his short verdict.
“Conor was great”, Kane reflected in his post-match Sky Sports interview. “They were great. Really did well. Marc [Guehi] winning the penalty at the end there, Kyle [Walker-Peters] breaking up play earlier for the first goal. Ty[rick Mitchell] coming on late. It was really good to see the young players coming in and feeling confident. You always want to start your England career with a win, so thankfully we’ve done that.”
Gallagher himself reflected on his own performance in his own post-match press conference at Wembley.
“It felt amazing. It was my first time playing at Wembley. It was a very proud moment. It was a massive buzz with all those fans and my parents watching too,” he reflected. He then added: “They [Mitchell and Guehi] both deserve it, they’ve been brilliant for Crystal Palace this season.
“That’s credit to Palace for the platform they’ve given them. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the call-up. The role I played today was very similar to the one I’ve been playing all season.”