Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel Praises ‘Fantastic’ Midfielder But Agrees Situation ‘Isn’t Ideal’

Conor Gallagher

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has heaped praise on midfielder Conor Gallagher but admits that the England international faces a lot of competition to gain a regular place in the Blues’ lineup.

Gallagher, 22, spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and hugely impressed in his maiden Premier League campaign, earning plaudits and getting his first call-up into Gareth Southgate’s England set-up.

Now back at Chelsea, he has the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic to compete with, meaning he could find minutes more difficult to come by than he did at Selhurst Park.

Thomas Tuchel Praises ‘Fantastic’ Conor Gallagher But Agrees Situation ‘Isn’t Ideal’

A ‘Huge Fan’

Speaking to Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard, Tuchel said: “To be honest, it is a very tough fight for him. It seems we only have two places in central midfield. Given the amount of players we have for central midfield, it isn’t ideal I agree.

“But we have to do what’s best for the squad not just each individual player, so these thoughts are not 100 per cent about the formation. But at the moment, he is absolutely fine.

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“I am a huge fan of Conor. He is a fantastic guy and this is what we already knew. In the first weeks of training, he has shown how much of a step he has made through having so much playing time, through his personality on the pitch.

“It is a very, very normal situation and development at the moment that after some fantastic training sessions in the beginning, there is a little dip in his form and freshness which he suffers.

“We are happy with him. He keeps on fighting and this is what he does. I think he has everything to become a very important player in the next years at Chelsea.”

‘Nobody is for Sale’

Having impressed last season with Palace, and with other clubs alert to the midfield situation at Chelsea, Gallagher has received ample loan interest again this summer.

Palace were among those again, while West Ham United and Everton are also credited with interest per the Evening Standard.

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Tuchel seemed to suggest that nobody else would be leaving Stamford Bridge in this transfer window but that if the right offer came along, it would be considered.

He said: “In general nobody is for sale. Nobody is for sale and everybody is for sale.”

“It depends on what the player wants, how bad the player wants it, what we think about who is ready to pay a certain amount of money and then maybe everybody is for sale.”