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Conor Gallagher produced another hugely impressive display as Crystal Palace held Manchester City to a goalless draw in the Premier League.
The iconic midfielder is enjoying his best season in his brief career so far. And his superb campaign continued against City at Selhurst Park. The on-loan Chelsea man ran the midfield. His take-ons, duels and non-stop running caught the eye of all in attendance on the night.
All that was missing from his display was a goal. But the youngster won’t care, as he managed to more than hold his own against some of the best players in world football.
The 22-year-old battled it out against Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Bernardo Silva. And he certainly didn’t look out of place. Statistics from the game show that he covered 12.5km, won eight duels, and carried out 14 sprints.
Unfortunately for Palace, however, the young midfielder is only on loan. He remains a Chelsea player, and it could be almost impossible for the Eagles to sign him permanently this summer.
Conor Gallagher completed the most take-ons during Crystal Palace 0-0 Man City and no player on the pitch won more fouls:
◎ 8 total duels won
◉ 4 take-ons attempted
◉ 4 take-ons completed
◉ 3 fouls won
He never stopped running. 😤 pic.twitter.com/3jrhFacOZY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2022
Can Palace keep hold of Conor Gallagher?
One glimmer of hope that Palace can take from the situation is that Chelsea boast a long list of midfield talents. The likes of Mason Mount and Jorginho will be hard to force out of Thomas Tuchel’s plans.
Also in contention are Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante. Moreover, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are still at the club. Youngsters Harvey Vale and Lewis Hall will also be vying for a spot in midfield in the coming years.
And Gallagher may even find himself battling it out with another loanee. Current Norwich man Billy Gilmour will also be eyeing a successful return to his parent club.
Where would the midfielder fit in at Chelsea?
Gallagher, like many other Chelsea youngsters, has spent much of his Blues career out on loan. His temporary moves began with Charlton and Swansea in the Championship.
But his potential was evident, and Chelsea were fully aware of it. A loan move to West Brom followed, this time in the Premier League. The midfielder was a standout in a poor Baggies squad. He was clearly destined for better things as the club suffered relegation.
A return to Stamford Bridge now looks set to be on the cards. But where will he play?
The England international has largely occupied the right-hand side of Patrick Vieira’s three-man midfield in a 4-3-3. Lately, however, the boss has also utilised a 4-2-3-1. There, Gallagher has been given more attacking freedom. He has occupied the central attacking midfield role in that three.
It is, of course, a different system to that of Tuchel’s at Chelsea. The German has also changed his system at times this season, but has more often than not relied on a 3-4-2-1.
There, Gallagher would seemingly slot into the central midfield of that four. Some Blues fans are suggesting that Kante is nearing the end of his spell at the club, and it seems that the Palace midfielder might just be the perfect man to replace him.
A more attacking role, however, wouldn’t be the worst idea. The midfielder boasts eight goals and five assists from 29 appearances in all competitions for the Eagles.