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Crystal Palace: Matt Woosnam drops Conor Gallagher claim

Crystal Palace: Matt Woosnam drops Conor Gallagher claim -Crystal Palace News

Crystal Palace journalist Matt Woosnam thinks another loan move is a possibility for Conor Gallagher next season. 

The lowdown

Chelsea midfielder Gallagher has now come to the end of his season-long loan at Crystal Palace.

The Englishman played the full 90 minutes on Sunday as Palace rounded off the campaign with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Selhurst Park.

It was his 33rd start from 38 matches, underlining his value to Patrick Vieira and the Eagles.

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea must now decide whether to integrate Gallagher, who has also spent time on loan at Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion, into their first team next season.

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The latest

Speaking in The Athletic’s Palace match-day discussion on Sunday evening, Woosnam raised doubts about Gallagher’s immediate prospects at Chelsea.

He wouldn’t be ‘surprised’ if the Blues sanctioned another temporary exit.

“I’m not sure Gallagher gets into that Chelsea team, but then perhaps they’ll set up in a way that suits him better than the slightly more defensive outlook Palace have had in the last couple of months that doesn’t play to his strengths,” he said.

“Would not be surprised to see him back out on loan somewhere.”

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The verdict

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has already publicly expressed the club’s desire to re-sign Gallagher for the 2022/23 season.

And that’s absolutely no surprise in light of his contribution this season. Gallagher finished the campaign second in Palace’s goalscoring charts with eight (behind Wilfried Zaha on 15) and was also runner-up in the assist rankings behind Michael Olise (who had eight to his five).

Chelsea will surely have encouraged by these returns, but there’s some pretty daunting competition at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel primarily operated with just two central midfielders in 2021/22, and the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are already jostling for those positions.

Kovacic is Chelsea’s former player of the year, while Kante and Jorginho have both been nominated for the Ballon D’Or.

If Gallagher winds up behind them in the pecking order, his development may slow down.

In other news, this Palace stalwart may leave in the summer

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