Conor Gallagher names two Chelsea figures behind Cobham success and what he offers Thomas Tuchel


Conor Gallagher has praised the impact of Chelsea's Neil Bath and Jim Fraser for the presence of so many Cobham-developed players in the England squad ahead of fixtures against Hungary, Germany and Italy. The Blues midfielder is one of seven players in the England camp to have spent some time training with Chelsea in their youth.

Bath has headed up Chelsea's Academy operation for 18 years alongside his assistant Fraser. Recent years have seen a great deal of success, with several homegrown players breaking through into the first team under Frank Lampard and maintaining their place under Thomas Tuchel.

The likes of Reece James, Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson- Odoi and Andres Christensen all came through Chelsea's age groups and into the Premier League. Even in a difficult year for the Blues' under-23s, Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, Xavier Simons and Jude Soonsup-Bell all earned debuts in cup competitions.

Chelsea's presence in the England squad is becoming equally clear. Gallagher, along with Mount, James, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori, Declan Rice and Tammy Abraham, all enjoyed part of their development with the club. The 22-year-old was keen to credit the people at the top of the academy.

Gallagher said: "I heard that stat, and I think it's a lot of credit to how the Academy is run by the coaches, Neil Bath and Jim Fraser and their philosophies. The players that they've produced is amazing. One of the guys at Palace said to me that every player he's ever met who's come through Chelsea is always very humble and hard- working, and that's credit to Chelsea.

"Marc Guehi is here as well, and obviously, we've been at Palace this season, and we grew up in the Academy at Chelsea together, so we're really close. We're normally together, but all the lads are lovely guys and very easy to get along with. It's a very easy squad to come into, which is nice."

Gallagher's time at Palace has been productive, and the academy product is now set to have his chance to impress Tuchel when he returns to Cobham for pre-season. With eight goals and five assists during his time at Selhurst Park, the former West Brom and Charton loanee has done enough to earn his way into Gareth Southgate's squad and knows he has something to offer.

He added: "I know what I'm good at and what I need to improve on, so I'll be focused on that. I feel like runs into the box I'm good at, and I can win the ball back well and press well. I like to score goals, and I want to score more.

"I can be more aware on the ball in deeper areas and have a better vision sometimes. There are loads of things, and I could go on for ages, but I'm very determined to work hard and improve as a footballer still."

Despite it appearing that Gallagher will have every opportunity to make Chelsea's first-team squad for 2022/23, there remains speculation around his future. understands that in a recent meeting between Tuchel and Gallagher, the latter was assured that he would be an important player for the Blues next season .

The England international, however, maintains he has given little thought to what comes next, and that interested onlookers should not read too much into his social media posts. Gallagher added:

"I don't know why you look too much into the words because my English ain't great. It's been incredible for me at Palace this season, and I've loved every minute of it. The fans, players, staff and Patrick have just been amazing with me, and I just have to thank them all.

"It's been unreal, but the season has just finished, and I've come straight here with England, so I know it's boring, but I've not thought about it. I'm just focused on the four games here with England."

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