Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Phil Hay Reveals This Midfielder Would Be A Good Fit For Leeds United: Should Bielsa Move In?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent Q&A with The Athletic (subscription required), Phil Hay revealed that Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher would be a good fit for Leeds United following his successful loan spell at Crystal Palace this season. Hay said,

“The midfield is, and has been since August, the glaring gap in the squad. I think the reality was this: Bielsa has a specific remit for a midfielder.

“About Gallagher, he’s having a fine season for Palace so far. It’s very easy to see how he would have fitted in at Leeds but ultimately, he expected to play more games at Palace and he was probably right in that respect.

“His value will be going up and up but as you saw with James, Bielsa does tend to retain an interest in specific players he rates. Gallagher is probably hoping for a chance at Chelsea though.”

Gallagher’s Impressive Loan Spell In South London So Far

The 21-year-old has made an impressive start to his life at Selhurst Park after joining from Chelsea on loan last summer. Gallagher has found the back of the net on three occasions and grabbed two assists in ten matches for the Eagles this season on all fronts.

The Epsom-born sensation has been a consistent performer at the heart of the Crystal Palace midfield as he averaged 2.4 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 1.0 clearances, 2.3 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has even distributed the ball relatively well, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 79.4% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Leeds United (Conor Gallagher)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Conor Gallagher of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Should Leeds United Boss Marcelo Bielsa Move In For Gallagher Next Year?

Gallagher is starting to prove his worth as a multi-purpose midfielder at Selhurst Park as he can have a positive influence at both ends of the field. He enjoys getting in stuck in with some solid tackles and doesn’t take too many chances with his clearances.

More importantly, the English talent is not shy of having a strike at goal when afforded time and space by the opposition defenders. Plus, he can set up some decent chances for others around him and can even pull off a few energetic runs in the final third. The promising youngster is primarily a central midfielder but can also fill in as an attacking midfielder if needed which could make him a good option for the Whites to pursue next year.

At 21, Gallagher is in for a very bright future in English football, so Leeds United should consider moving in for him when his loan spell with Crystal Palace expires next summer. He will add some goals and assists to Marcelo Bielsa‘s attacking department and could even help the Whites maintain their Premier League status in the coming seasons.

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