West Ham have identified Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as a transfer target to bolster their midfield options.
What’s the latest on Conor Gallagher to West Ham?
According to the Evening Standard, the Hammers are said to be ‘long-term admirers’ of the 23-year-old, having previously missed out on signing the Englishman on loan last summer.
The report suggests that the West Ham hierarchy is intently monitoring Gallagher’s situation. He is one of the “leading contenders” to replace club captain Declan Rice, who looks set to depart the London Stadium.
Should West Ham sign Conor Gallagher?
The £38m-rated man established himself as one of the most exciting and talented youngsters in the top-flight last season whilst on loan at Crystal Palace. He emerged as the Eagles’ standout performer and registered 13 goal contributions in 39 appearances in all competitions last season.
During this time, the six-cap international developed a formidable reputation for his energy, tenacity, goal-scoring threat, and athleticism.
Patrick Viera, who coached Gallagher during this breakout loan spell at Selhurst Park last term, heaped praise on the midfielder’s ability and potential. The Arsenal invincible said:
“He surprised me with his finishing, he surprised me with his energy, he surprised me with the way he gets into the box at the right time to score goals.”
The former Swansea City loanee had exceeded expectations, and unlike many other Cobham graduates who have brutally slipped through the radar, Gallagher has become regularly integrated into the first team this season.
The 6-foot box-to-box midfielder, whose Chelsea contract expires in 2025, has featured on 35 occasions for the Blues this term, but 22 of those have been from the bench as he has failed to nail down any consistency or a regular starting spot.
Therefore, this is why rumours are beginning to circulate regarding his departure from the 2021 Champions League winners as he seeks more game time.
Meanwhile, in East London, Rice’s exit has been described as ‘almost certain’ and Gallagher would be a shrewd piece of business for the Irons.
Although the Epsom-born engine has only recorded the 21st-highest rating in the Chelsea squad this season if given constant minutes as he was under Viera, he has displayed his capability to dictate play and initiate the press.
Gallagher was recently included in England’s latest European Championship Qualifying squad and was previously lauded by Gareth Southgate as “fantastic.”
The former Charlton loanee is a close match to Rice in terms of work ethic and has already shown he can be the main force of a Premier League side.