Leeds United do not seemingly want to rest in their pursuit of new faces and Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher has emerged as the latest target.
As exclusively reported by our sister site football.london, Leeds have already held talks with the 21-year-old over a potential loan move. The Whites reportedly put together an impressive presentation, something which has become a trademark of Director of Football Victor Orta’s recruitment strategy.
It has also been claimed by football.london that Gallagher has held talks with Crystal Palace, who are now managed by former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.
This is not the first time Gallagher has been linked with Leeds, suggesting he is a player admired by Orta and Marcelo Bielsa.
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Here is a closer look at the Chelsea midfielder.
What has he done so far?
Gallagher joined Chelsea at the age of eight before ascending the ranks of their youth system and earning a professional contract at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst cutting his teeth in Chelsea’s academy, he was part of the England squad that won the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup and has also represented his country at under-18, under-19, under-20 and under-21 level.
His first taste of senior football came on loan at Charlton Athletic, where he shone under the tutelage of former Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer in the first half of the 2019/20 season. He then left to join Swansea City on loan midway through the season, being reunited with his former England under-17 boss Steve Cooper.
After an impressive breakthrough in the Championship, Gallagher was handed an opportunity to test himself in the Premier League with a loan move to West Bromwich Albion. Although he could not prevent the Baggies losing their top flight status, Gallagher caught the eye and is very unlikely to be joining his former club in the second tier this season.
Why would Leeds want him?
Leeds look light on depth in central midfield and recent recruit Lewis Bate is likely to spend time with the under-23s initially.
Gallagher is an all-action midfielder with a penchant for a defence-splitting pass. In many ways, Gallagher resembles a traditional box-to-box midfielder in that he makes regular surges forward and has an eye for goal but his work rate prevents him being a liability defensively.
He would provide stern competition for Mateusz Klich but his attacking prowess could also make him a suitable option as the most advanced of the central midfield three.
What has been said about him?
During his time in charge of Charlton Athletic, Lee Bowyer was the first to give Gallagher an opportunity at senior level. After Gallagher’s loan stay was cut short, Bowyer said: “He’s been a credit and a pleasure to work with. He’s come in and put his body on the line every single day.
“He’s scored us goals and helped us win games. For someone so young, he’s a great talent to work with.”
He also made an impression on Steve Cooper, who knows Gallagher well from their time together in the England youth set-up and at Swansea City.
Cooper said: “Anyone who sees him play can see how hard he works.
“He is adding value. He is not the loudest lad in the world and there is nothing wrong with that.”
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