World Cup hopeful Conor Gallagher will have plenty of chances to impress Gareth Southgate in October, new Chelsea boss Graham Potter has promised.
The midfielder made his first call-up for England after a stellar season on loan for Palace last season but was not included in Southgate’s youngest squad and had just 157 minutes in five Premier League games before Saturday’s 2-1 win played through his former club.
Gallagher took full advantage of his substitution in the 76th minute and scored a dramatic winner in the 90th minute to hand Potter his first three Premier League points as the Blues’ manager.
“We’re going to have a really intense time,” Potter said. “We have 12 games in six and a half weeks so we need all of them. It’s impossible to play with 11 players, so Conor will get his time, he’ll get his chances, he’ll get opportunities to perform.
“Like I said we have to try to help the team perform well so that all the individuals can play well and then England, that’s out of my control.”
Chelsea will host Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, the first of their dozen games before the World Cup break, and then take on Wolves in the Premier League.
Gallagher said Saturday’s goal restored his confidence, something that waned as he tried to carve out his place at Stamford Bridge.
His new manager was adamant the 22-year-old would forge an impressive identity with Chelsea, who moved up to fifth on Saturday.
“I really like him,” said Potter, still getting to know his players better after just two games. “He’s fantastic. First of all, he just gives everything every day, really wants to do well, really wants to play for Chelsea, really wants to be successful here, so that’s a great position.
“And then it’s about finding the right balance so he plays as a team so the team can perform to the max, that helps all the players, but in terms of Conor as a person, he was A1.”
Gallagher scored eight goals and three assists in 34 Premier League games for Palace last season, earning his first England call-up in November.
He was even linked with a move back to Palace before the September transfer window closed and many thought it would be his best shot at getting back on Southgate’s radar.
The former Eagle received a warm round of applause when his name was announced at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Many of the Palace faithful even stayed to smack Gallagher off the pitch after his fatal blow.
That didn’t come as a surprise to Eagles boss Patrick Vieira, who was visibly frustrated with the goal but had nothing but praise for the man who scored it.
“He just deserved it,” he said. “That just showed what kind of fans we have at our football club. He had a really good season when he was with us last year.
“And that’s a way for us and the fans to show appreciation for what he’s done to us. Of course it’s a good goal, but we shouldn’t concede. We shouldn’t have allowed him that risk because we had enough people around the ball to stop him.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/conor-gallagher-gareth-southgate-patrick-vieira-premier-league-england-b2191190.html Conor Gallagher will get the chance to make World Cup claims – Graham Potter