Tuchel assesses Gallagher’s tough fight for a few minutes | News | Official site
Ahead of our return to Stamford Bridge this weekend and the visit of London rivals Tottenham, Thomas Tuchel spoke of the fierce competition between his central midfielders and his hopes for Callum Hudson-Odoi to reach his potential…
The Chelsea manager has been busy preparing his players for a tough test against Antonio Conte’s side, who came from behind to beat Southampton 4-1 on the opening weekend. The Blues, meanwhile, secured a 1-0 victory at Everton with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho starting in the heart of midfield, the latter scoring the game’s only goal from the penalty spot.
With Mateo Kovacic ruled out this weekend with a troublesome knee injury, there could be an opportunity for more minutes in midfield for Conor Gallagher, who made his senior debut for the club as a substitute at Goodison Park and hopes to break into the starting squad this term after a successful season on loan at Crystal Palace.
Tuchel believes the future is bright for the Chelsea Academy graduate, although he concedes battling for a few minutes at a top club will inevitably have its ups and downs.
“Conor fights in central midfield,” Tuchel said. “To be very honest, it’s a tough fight for him because at the moment we only have two places in central midfield, which is a bit unfair considering the number of players we have there.
“It’s not ideal, but we have to do what’s best for the team and not just for each individual player. These thoughts on training and how to use everyone aren’t 100% done yet, but so far he’s doing great.
Gallagher played throughout pre-season, especially with Kante absent from our US tour, and was clearly thrilled to have finally raced for his childhood Blues last weekend, with the traveling contingent singing even his name.
The 22-year-old made 43 appearances in all competitions last season and Tuchel believes he has the potential to become as big a player in blue as he was at Palace if he continues to show the same hunger , the same desire and the same conviction.
“I’m a huge Conor fan,” admitted the boss. “He’s first and foremost a fantastic guy, which we knew, and in the first few weeks of training he showed how much he had made a step by having so much playing time and how much he had become. a personality on the pitch.”
“It’s a completely normal situation in development that after some really fantastic training sessions at the start, there is now a little dip in form and freshness that he is suffering from.
“On top of that he has huge competition with N’Golo, Jorgi and Kova who are used to playing with each other, but that’s also life at a big club like Chelsea. Everything is in its place and “We are happy with him. He keeps fighting because that’s what he does. I think he has everything to become a very important player in the next few years at Chelsea.
There is always plenty of speculation about potential ins and outs at Stamford Bridge, with Marc Cucurella the most recent to come through the door on a move from Brighton & Hove Albion last week.
Tuchel admitted that the club are still pursuing other options to strengthen the squad and that a new arrival could provide invaluable advice to another of their young wonderkids.
“In general, nobody is for sale, and everyone is for sale,” added Tuchel. “It ultimately depends on what the player wants, how badly the player wants it, what we think and who is willing to pay a certain amount of money, and maybe everyone is for sale.
“Callum is competing, he had a long term injury and long term issues to overcome, that’s where he suffered from.” I think he still has a long way to go to live up to his potential because the potential is huge.
‘Have Raheem [Sterling] Maybe that can give him an extra push to step up and see what it takes on those kinds of positions to get to the level he wants and can get to. At the moment he is our player and he has to fight and fight.