By Pranav Shahaney

14th Mar, 2022 | 8:55pm

Chelsea: Conor Gallagher has all tools to become Stamford Bridge icon

Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher has everything it takes to become a legend at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old is enjoying a stellar campaign on loan at Crystal Palace where he is already looking like a class apart from most of his teammates.

Having proven his credentials at West Brom last season, he’s doing one better for a London side which could be an audition for Thomas Tuchel next season.

Mateo Kovacic is currently occupying the free eight role in the Blues system and Gallagher could be the perfect understudy for the former Real Madrid midfielder.

In games where Tuchel may need more help breaking down opposition defences, he could withdraw N’Golo Kante for the 22-year-old – whose movement around the penalty area has been exemplary.

Kante himself is on the wrong side of 30, and rather than finding a like-for-like replacement, the Blues could do with a midfield trio of Jorginho-Kovacic-Gallagher.

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This season, in the Premier League, he averages almost 1.5 dribbles per game – which puts him in the top 15 per cent of all midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues. [StatsBomb]

He also averages a colossal 2.8 touches in the opposition penalty area that classifies him with a select group of players in his position – putting him in the top 7 per cent.

If the Englishman is delivering such numbers at a bottom half side, he could wreak havoc in a well-oiled machine of the European champions.

Given all of Chelsea’s problems, they may be hamstrung in the transfer market this summer and that could see them turn to Gallagher as a legitimate first-team option.

A few good seasons will not only put him in the good books with the managers but also will give him the sort of importance among the fans which could lead to him becoming an icon at the club.

In other Football Wonderkids news, Manchester United already have their Paul Pogba replacement in Hannibal Mejbri.