Conor Gallagher has joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, had originally lamented his desire to keep the midfield asset in his long-term plans during pre-season, but Conor Gallagher insisted he wanted Premier League minutes - so a loan switch to Croydon, not far from his hometown of Epsom, seemed equitable for both parties.
The 21-year-old has found it difficult to find a breakthrough for Chelsea, with a superfluity of talent ahead of him in the pecking order. Instead, the box-to-box livewire found his feet in a relegated West Brom side last season, through no fault of Gallagher's persistence.
He was involved in four goals in his 30 appearances for the Baggies last season, showing endurance and abundance in every stride, and playing a pivotal role as the main joint between defence and attack.
With Patrick Vieira wanting to implement a possessive-based style of play next season, Gallagher, who featured heavily in the sensational crop of talent that won the U-17 World Cup in 2017, seems the perfect match for Crystal Palace.
Although it was reported that he had completed a medical at Selhurst last season, a deal never came to fruition - but with the beaming midfielder assigning himself to the radar of Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman for a while now, the Palace hierarchy have finally got their man.
What will he bring to Palace?
Beating both Newcastle United and Leeds United to Conor Gallagher's signature shows yet again the pulling power that the appointment of Arsenal's invincible captain as the new manager brings to south London - and not to forget the luxurious idealism that the higher-ups have instilled in their plans for the club.
The capture of the English midfielder highlights that the discontent among the fans at last season's abysmal creative intuition is something that is shared throughout the social scale at Selhurst Park.
At times last season, the Eagles lacked energy and willingness in the centre of the park - something that the new signing adds in abundance. Usually playing as the deeper midfielder in a trio, Gallagher differs from the habitual box-to-box player in the fact that he always arrives in the box on time. His eight goals in professional football can be likened to that of his former manager, Frank Lampard.
While at the Hawthorns, despite being implemented in a defensive system, Gallagher was instrumental in his aggressive pressing, a key characteristic of Vieira's new-look gameplan. His 25.21 pressures per 90 ranked him among the top four per cent of his positional peers over the last year.
Furthermore, his dynamic running will breathe new life into a Crystal Palace midfield that has failed to shine since the departure of Yohan Cabaye, and with Eberechi Eze out until the new year, Gallagher's energy will be cardinal to Vieira's early success.
What was said:
Chairman Steve Parish said: "I am delighted Conor has chosen to come to Crystal Palace on a season-long loan after some impressive performances in the Premier League last season. We very much look forward to him joining the squad as we continue to build towards the new season."
Upon putting pen to paper in south London, Gallagher said: "I’m buzzing to be here. I can’t wait to get started, I’m happy to get the deal over the line.
"I spoke to the manager, I liked what he said, I liked how he wants to play, how he wants me to play and how he wants the team to play. I feel like I can learn from him and the players around me."