Why Gallagher and Lundstram are just what Crystal Palace need
(GettyImages - Marc Atkins)

Crystal Palace are keen on signing Conor Gallagher and John Lundstram, from Premier League rivals, Sheffield United and Chelsea, in a bid to strengthen their midfield for next season.

It is understood that on-loan West Brom man, Gallagher, will cost the Eagles around £9m. However, he will be down in the pecking order in West London. The new manager, Thomas Tuchel, is likely to favour the likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Jorginho and N'Golo Kante over the midfielder.

27-year-old, Lundstram, is out of contract at Bramall Lane at the end of the season. He will be available as a free agent from the Blades, who are likely to be relegated to the Championship.

Although he will not lower the average age of the squad, he provides solid cover in midfield. The Englishman has shown his defensive and goalscoring abilities during his time in the Steel City.

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Palace have an important rebuild operation to undergo at the end of the season, and there are good reasons why the acquisitions of Gallagher and Lundstram will enhance the squad. 

  • Gallagher's successful loan spells

Shortly after being awarded Chelsea's academy Player of the Year award for the 2018/19 season, Gallagher signed a three-year deal with the Blues before going out on loan to Charlton Athletic.

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In his first month with the Addicks, Gallagher scored three goals in six games and won the English Football League's Young Player of the Month award for August 2019.

In January 2020, Chelsea recalled Gallagher before he joined Swansea City, which became his second loan spell a day after he returned to West London.

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Swansea gave him more creative freedom as he helped the Swans scrape a play-off spot on the last day of the Championship season. The Swans lost to Brentford in the play-off semi-final, despite Gallagher's valiant efforts.

Gallagher again returned to Chelsea before going out on loan for the third time in just two seasons to West Bromwich Albion. Gallagher scored his first goal in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on 28 November 2020.

  • The pair are cheap and reliable options

Lundstram is available for free at the end of the season, whereas £9m for Gallagher is an absolute steal considering his form in the last two seasons.

Gallagher is only 21 years of age and will learn from the likes of Eberechi Eze, Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp, who are well acquainted with Premier League football.

Former Oxford United skipper, Lundstram, is very experienced in terms of League One, Championship and Premier League football. Lundstram had the season of his life last season but has fallen off the pace recently.

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His engine is something that Palace are missing, though. Midfielders such as Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur are tiring, and they don't have a good backup in James McCarthy, who can't keep himself off the injury list this season.

  • The pressure on Zaha and Eze will ease with the presence of Gallagher

Gallagher has played 22 games so far this season for West Brom, scoring twice and assisting twice.

Despite his low stats so far, Gallagher is an all-action central midfielder, who is technically gifted on the ball, has brilliant stamina, and can contribute going forward.

It's been a difficult year for Gallagher, playing in a West Brom side low in confidence in front of goal and lacking defensive aptitude. However, he has stood out in a lot of their performances.

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Zaha and Eze have been Palace's main creative spark this season. However, their attack is restricted whenever either of the pair misses a game for the Eagles.

Palace need backup in terms of creativity, and where better to look than Gallagher? Especially with the low price-tag attached to him. It's a no-brainer for the Eagles, and it speaks volumes of his potential when Blues fans are adamant that selling Gallagher would be a mistake for Tuchel's side.

  • Lundstram can be key to cutting out danger on the counter-attack 

The former Everton graduate has been key to the Blades in the Premier League, but their time in the top-flight looks likely to be over, and Lundstram would be a quality signing on a free transfer.

His box-to-box abilities were first known to Palace when he bossed the middle of the park in their 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United in the second game of the 2019/20 season.

A move to new surroundings is likely to recreate his form, especially when he has played in a United team short of confidence and quality this season.

Palace need a midfielder who can create as well as defend and Lundstram provides that for the Eagles. He is a very cheap solution and Palace are unlikely to splash the cash this summer, despite their summer clearout plans.

Lundstram and Gallagher are just what Palace need, especially when the pair are unlikely to remain at their parent clubs this summer.

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