Chelsea's Conor Gallagher named in England squad but Raheem Sterling snubbed by Gareth Southgate


Conor Gallagher has been selected by England for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine. The 23-year-old midfielder has become a regular in Gareth Southgate's squads in recent times following an impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace last season and returning to Chelsea this term.

Gallagher will now jet off to Italy to take on the reigning European champions on Thursday, March 23, with the rest of his international teammates before returning to London to go head-to-head with Ukraine a few days later at Wembley. There is, however, no place for Raheem Sterling, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury. Southgate said on Sterling:

"Raheem is not fit, so that's that. Yes, absolutely [he would be selected if fit]." Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount have all been included. Gallagher has only started 12 matches this season for the Blues in all competitions, but the England international has the third-most appearances (31) of any player in the squad, behind Mason Mount (32) and Kai Havertz (35).

 However, to put in perspective how little football Gallagher has played this season, he has 1,236 minutes on the pitch, while Havertz has 2,469 minutes and Mount has 2,145. Gallagher, though, has particularly impressed in the last three matches, which have all been Chelsea wins, when coming off the bench.

The Cobham graduate came on at the weekend in the win against Leicester City to give Chelsea another man in midfield to combat the space the Foxes were finding in the first-half. The main objective was to keep James Maddison quiet and Gallagher massively helped in what was a very professional second-half display from Graham Potter's side.

Gallagher's role is one that seems to suit him and Chelsea, but the midfielder will undoubtedly want to build on his 12 starts for the side this season. With the arrival of club record signing Enzo Fernandez, though, his task has been made even more difficult.

The England midfielder was a wanted man in the January transfer window. Both Everton and Crystal Palace expressed an interest in his signature, but understands Gallagher wanted to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place in Potter's squad. Gallagher is likely to be in the squad for Saturday's Premier League clash with Everton, which will be Chelsea's last outing before the two-week international break.

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