“Chelsea will be the Premier League top four this season because of him…He teaches Pochettino what to do sometimes”: Alan Shearer really impressed with ONE talented Chelsea player who has coaching experience more than Pochettino.

Conor Gallagher has been linked with a move away from Chelsea throughout the last two transfer windows, with the midfielder’s contract expiring in the summer of 2025

Alan Shearer may have sent Chelsea the clearest hint yet as to what to do with Conor Gallagher.

The midfielder has been an ever-present in Mauricio Pochettino’s team this year, captaining the Blues in the absence of Reece James and Ben Chilwell. The 24-year-old has made 32 appearances for Chelsea this season, contributing to nine goals.

However, the England international faces an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge. The Cobham graduate was strongly linked with a move away from west London in January with less than 18 months remaining on his contract at the club.

football.london understands while Chelsea and Gallagher have held pre-contract talks together, there is nothing concrete on the table in terms of an offer to extend his stay. Pochettino has made it no secret that he wants Gallagher to remain with Chelsea but with the pressure of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) having more and more influence on clubs in recent times, there is scope to sell the Cobham graduate.

“He’s important because of Chelsea values,” Pochettino said of Gallagher in December. “He’s a product that came from the academy. Of course he loves the club and he’s very committed.

“You can see on the pitch: he runs, he play, he fights. He does everything to try to win. Yes, I think he is a really important player, always the type of player that the coaching staff want, and the team.”

Then when asked about his name being mentioned in transfer speculation, Pochettino said: “Yes, in the past. That is between the club and the player. For me, I don’t need to talk too much because it’s clear it’s not my decision.”

Gallagher has earned plaudits for his performances this season, with the latest coming from Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer. The Premier League all-time top goalscorer named Gallagher in his Team of the Week after he scored twice against Crystal Palace on Monday night to help his side win 3-1.

“He had to be in my team as his two second-half goals gave Chelsea an important win,” Shearer said in his Premier League column. Arsenal stars Ben White, William Saliba, Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka all featured in Shearer’s Team of the Week following the Gunners’ 6-0 thumping of West Ham, while Erling Haaland was also picked after he helped Man City to a 2-0 win over Everton

Shearer has praised Gallagher in the past, too. When the midfielder was on loan at Crystal Palace and bagged a brace against West Ham in August 2021, Shearer told Match of the Day: “He said he wants to be an all-round midfielder – and he showed that today he’s got it in his locker.

“We need to see more of this because that’s what it was, whether it was playing balls in behind, whether it was winning balls for his team in the midfield. He is setting Palace on the front foot. Or whether it was arriving into the box at just the right time. Perfect timing and that’s a really clever finish.

“Watch this goal here [second goal]. Touch with the right foot, flick with the left foot and then again the finish. That is without doubt one of the Goals of the Month contenders. It’s a magnificent goal, the touch and then the ability to finish it off the way he did.

“Then Palace could’ve won it. It was a brilliant ball in by Gallagher and [Marc] Guehi should actually put that in the back of the net. They’ll expect more of that this season from him, very impressive.”

Shearer is clearly an admirer of Gallagher but it remains to be seen if Chelsea will sell the midfielder in the summer. Whoever Gallagher is playing for in the 2024/25 campaign, they will have one hell of a player on their hands if Shearer’s praise is anything to go by.

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