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The 21-year-old has had an impressive loan stint at Crystal Palace, scoring six goals and registering three assists in 16 Premier League appearances.

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Patrick Vieira’s side is understandably keen to make Gallagher’s move to the club a permanent one, but Tuchel has appeared to rule out that possibility by stating Chelsea ‘love’ the midfielder.

Ahead of Chelsea’s game with Aston Villa, Tuchel said: ‘We love Conor. We are convinced about him.

‘We took the decision for Conor because when we looked at the midfield – Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante – he was considered number four in the group.


‘Conor knew this all the way. An opportunity came up where he could clearly see more minutes and more responsibility.

‘Would he be the same Conor if he had stayed here? Obviously not, because the situation will then be different.

‘Maybe, then, the same people would say, “How can they rely on Conor Gallagher?”, or “Why don’t they give him more minutes?”

‘If Mateo hadn’t been injured, it wouldn’t really matter. So, no, you cannot go back to these decisions that are made for the club and for the player. Everybody agreed on it.

‘And it’s obviously a good decision because he is doing so well and everybody is happy. That’s because he plays every single game, and knows how important he is to the team at Crystal Palace. This is a huge part of being at the best level you can be.’


Gallagher’s performances led to him receiving his first international cap for England in their 10-0 victory against San Marino in November.

Tuchel replaced Gallagher with Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez on loan – though the Spaniard has struggled to adapt to the Premier League.

The Blues also have Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley, though both players’ futures at Stamford Bridge are up in the air.


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