Conor Gallagher has no plans to leave Chelsea in this transfer window, labeling next season as the season to make his breakthrough after support from Thomas Tuchel.
Gallagher is yet to make a Premier League appearance for boyhood club Chelsea, although he has impressed in his last two top-tier loan spells with West Brom and Crystal Palace.
The England international managed 11 goal appearances in the 2021-22 season with Palace, a tally surpassed only by Wilfried Zaha (15) for Patrick Vieira’s side in the league.
With the upcoming Qatar World Cup in November, Gallagher understands the importance of regular first-team minutes in the 2022-23 season as he looks to make his mark at Stamford Bridge.
N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount are among his midfield competitors at Chelsea, but Gallagher hopes to be in the running for the starting eleven.
“I feel like this is the season,” he told reporters. “I’ve been a Chelsea fan my whole life, my family has been, it’s been a dream to play [for Chelsea] but I want to try to impress, and play as much football as I can and affect the game when I’m on the pitch.
“[Tuchel] He said he wants me to be part of the team and prove myself in the preseason, so that’s the plan. I’m happy with that and I’m willing to work as hard as I can to show him that I can play for Chelsea.
“That’s what I wanted to hear, it was a good phone call we had and he gave me a clear pre-season plan and where I’m going to be. It was great to hear.”
Gallagher was quick to acknowledge Vieira’s influence at Palace, expressing gratitude for the efforts the Selhurst Park coaching staff made to improve him.
Tuchel has added more international experience to his ranks, with England international Raheem Sterling joining Chelsea, and Gallagher hopes to improve alongside world-class players.
“Everyone wants to play as much as they can, but I’m willing to work as hard as I can to be on the floor as much as possible,” Gallagher said.
“There are world-class players in the team and it’s obviously a tough team to get into, but I feel like if that challenge is there, I think I’d be a bit silly not to take it,” he added.
“With Chelsea being my club as well as the one I’ve supported, it’s very exciting.
“I am very interested [to play at the World Cup] because every English player wants to play in England and in a World Cup it would be very special. And of course it is very important that he plays and performs.
“The call was a very proud moment, for sure. But it didn’t change the way he thought of me or anything.
“It was nice to get that recognition and trust from the coach. It’s very important to stay humble and do everything you can to perform well.”
Mount was one of the first Chelsea players to welcome Sterling’s arrival on Wednesday, and Gallagher echoed his teammate’s sentiments as he reflected on the experience the striker will bring to the team.
“I think it’s brilliant. It’s only going to benefit Chelsea and himself,” Gallagher said of signing Sterling.
“Everyone is very excited that he is playing and I know the fans are too. He is a great professional, very relaxed off the pitch and does things well.”
“I feel like the young guys feel like they can talk to him too because he has a lot of experience in England and in the Premier League. So yeah, he’s a huge signing and I’m sure he’ll do his thing.” when he’s here.”