The Chelsea manager is keen to integrate Gallagher into the first-team fold in West London next term after what has been a stunning loan spell at Crystal Palace so far
Thomas Tuchel has explained how he wants Conor Gallagher back in his Chelsea squad for next season and revealed he has apologised for preventing the midfielder from playing in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.
The Blues take on Crystal Palace, Gallagher’s loan side, at Wembley but have rejected the Eagles request to permit the 22-year-old to play against his parent club. The midfielder has been nothing short of sensational since making the temporary switch to Selhurst Park last summer.
As a result, Palace fans are desperate to see the club try and turn the loan move into a permanent one but Tuchel’s latest comments on Gallagher could make for grim reading from that perspective, though the German did concede he is not the only one involved in the decision making process.
“I believe Conor can be a part of our squad and can play a role with us. But I am not the only one to decide. We need to speak after the season with everybody, speak after the season about what Conor wants, we need to see what the situation is and what role we have for him that he can fight for.
“There needs to be something to fight, a role and perspective of where you are, where you can be, what you need to achieve. So we have to be very clear with him and he needs to be clear with us. Then we will sort it out. His development is extraordinary and outstanding.
“He is one of the key players at Crystal Palace and made a huge step in his development up front. He was a pleasure to coach in pre-season – he has so much positive energy, energy in general, and such work rate to give that he can have a big influence.”
Gallagher has 13 goal contributions so far in the form of eight goals and five assists for the Eagles. His fine form has been pivotal in Patrick Vieira’s side reaching the last four of the FA Cup, though he will be forced to watch on from the side-lines at Wembley.
“I had the chance to speak to Conor, and I could also see his frustration,” Tuchel said. “We met some weeks ago; after the international break by coincidence we ran into each other in a restaurant, and we had a chat. The subject came up, and I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot.
“I know his character very well…This is the way it is. We play to win the game, and the rules were clear when we made the loan. I can totally understand Patrick Vieira and the disappointment of Conor but these are the rules when we did the loan, and we don’t want to suffer from our rules.”