Sky Sports journalist Michael Bridge wonders whether Crystal Palace will make a move for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek when Conor Gallagher’s loan deal expires.
Gallagher has impressed at Selhurst Park this season, so it would be no surprise if Palace wanted to keep him. However, Chelsea selling looks unlikely if reports are to be believed, meaning the south London club may need to sign a replacement next summer.
Are Crystal Palace likely to keep hold of Conor Gallagher?
While another loan move does not seem impossible, signing Gallagher outright seems to be off the table.
In terms of replacements, Rangers’ Joe Aribo is one midfielder who has been linked with a move to Selhurst Park, while Loftus-Cheek has been at the club before and is not currently an automatic starter at Chelsea.
The 25-year-old has made less than 10 league starts under Thomas Tuchel this season, so perhaps he could be an option for Palace if Gallagher does indeed return to Chelsea and they want to replace him with an experienced Premier League midfielder.
What has Michael Bridge said about Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek?
Bridge believes it will be difficult for Palace to sign Gallagher permanently and is now wondering if Patrick Vieira’s side could target Loftus-Cheek as a replacement.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the Sky Sports reporter said: “I think Gallagher, the more he plays well, the less chance Palace get to keep him. Do they go back for Loftus-Cheek next season? I don’t know.”
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What would Ruben Loftus-Cheek bring to Crystal Palace?
Crystal Palace fans will know what the club will be getting if the England international is signed: a midfielder who is excellent at driving with the ball.
That ability to carry the ball was on full display during his loan spell with the Eagles in the 2017/18 campaign. He averaged an impressive three dribbles per game (via WhoScored), which was only bettered by one Palace player, star man Wilfried Zaha (4.1).
Would Loftus-Cheek be interested in a return to Palace? It remains to be seen. But if he cannot nail down a starting spot at Chelsea, which looks difficult given Tuchel has the likes of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, then maybe a move to Vieira’s team would be good for him.