Thomas Tuchel reacts to Conor Gallagher’s fine form at Crystal Palace, reveals his initial plan for youngster

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has lauded Conor Gallagher, claiming he ‘has not been hard to follow’ amid his purple patch on loan at Crystal Palace.

The midfielder has scored three goals and laid on two assists in nine appearances for Patrick Vieira’s men since securing a season-long loan to Selhurst Park from the Stamford Bridge outfit.

The England U21 international continued his fine form for Palace last weekend, assisting the first and netted the second in their shock 2-0 win away at Manchester City.

Tuchel has now revealed the plan was for Gallagher to remain as part of his squad for this season until Palace made their interest known, but insists he possesses quality and heart that is ‘so big’.

“He is not hard to follow because he is standing out every single matchday so it’s an easy one to follow and credit to him,” Tuchel said ahead of the Blues’ Premier League home game against Burnley on Saturday.

“We had long talks in pre-season and we imagined he could stay and fight for his place here.

“But we decided that when the talks came up with Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace, he understood the role he could have in the Premier League at the club. He wanted to take the challenge.

“We also agreed to let him go because we thought, in the end, this could be the right thing to do. You need a bit of luck and, of course, a lot of quality.

“Conor’s heart is so, so big; you could wake him up at 4am and he’ll start running and sprinting, collecting balls and winning duels. This is what he does. He feels good and has the trust of the club and manager.

“Right now, it’s the beginning of November and he is an important member of the Crystal Palace squad. It’s good where he is and there is no need to change this. He feels good and feels a huge part at this club.’