Should Crystal Palace sign a Chelsea academy graduate? - The Verdict

  • Tom Kelly
West Brom midfielder Conor Gallagher has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are looking to land Chelsea academy graduate Conor Gallagher for £9m, according to the Daily Express.

The South London side are looking to make a number of key signings this summer during a reported squad overhaul.

Indeed, Palace are believed to be wanting to bring down the average in their squad and there have been suggestions they are willing to spend money this summer. 

The Chelsea youngster has been out on loan at West Bromwich Albion this season and has impressed during his time with the Baggies despite a largely miserable season for them.

A dynamic central midfielder, he has been a prominent figure at the Hawthorns and has made 22 appearances so far.

The former Charlton and Swansea loanee still has four years left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge. Still, Gallagher faces fierce competition for a starting position in West London and is considered to be lower down the pecking order given the squad Thomas Tuchel has available to him.

So, for £9m, would the current West Brom loanee be a good signing for Palace?

GIVEMESPORT writers Tom Kelly, Sam Brookes, Josh Cole and Jonathan Gorrie provide their thoughts.

Tom Kelly

"Without a shadow of a doubt, Gallagher has had an impressive season at West Brom but I'm not sure that swooping in for the 21-year-old will be a wise move for Palace. 

"Based upon WhoScored statistics, a 33-year-old James McArthur has outperformed the Chelsea loanee this season, with an average rating of 6.84. Therefore, the question is, would Gallagher come into the Eagles midfield and provide an instant improvement? 

"In the case of Gallagher, I think they should have the 'try before you buy' attitude. The Blues youngster still has four years left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge. Therefore, a loan move might prove to be more of a risk-free option."

Sam Brookes

"In his maiden season in the top-flight, Gallagher has looked right at home. It is not easy to perform consistently well in a struggling side. There is a lot of defending to do, meaning it can be difficult for players to show their qualities in the final third.

"Yet Gallagher’s natural ability has shone through. According to WhoScored statistics, his average game rating this term has been 6.74, highlighting how he has been a consistent performer throughout the campaign.

"He has registered four top-flight goal contributions in 2020/21, which is not particularly eye-catching, but he does stand out in most games for his energy and combative nature. Picking up eight yellow cards this season demonstrates that he can overstep the mark at times, but it also indicates that he is willing to fight for his team and is unwilling to shy away from a contest.

"Palace’s midfield is ageing, and they need a fresh face to help them push on next year. Gallagher could be just the player to spark the side into life."

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Josh Cole

"Although Gallagher has shown fleeting signs of promise during his loan spell with West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace ought to think twice about making a swoop for the Chelsea man this summer.

"Despite featuring on 22 occasions in the top-flight for the Baggies, the 21-year-old has only managed to provide four direct goal contributions from central midfield which is a far cry from his escapades in the Championship last season which culminated in him being directly involved in 17 goals over two separate loan spells.

"With the jury still out on whether Gallagher is good enough to compete at Premier League level, Palace should also be wary that the England Under-21 international may not necessarily be an improvement on the likes of Jairo Riedewald and Luka Milivojevic."

Jonathan Gorrie

"With so many players out of contract at Crystal Palace this summer, bringing someone in who can provide that sense of youthful exuberance would be a good way to go.

"At their worst, Palace have looked stodgy and one-paced, with their midfield largely functional.
This season, Gallagher has averaged 2.8 tackles and 1.1 shots per game (via WhoScored), averages that would see him rank third in Palace's squad for both metrics. Being able to do in a West Brom side struggling at the bottom of the division speaks to a dynamic young player with the engine to make a difference in the middle of the park.

"If they can get him, Palace looks an ideal move for him at the moment. He'd be a great signing."

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