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Loan Watch

Blues loanee Armando Broja is TEARING through defenses at Southampton with his stunning form

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The Albanian national is sending waves back to Stamford Bridge with his goal scoring form recently

The 20 year old has been earning himself a name with his form this season as he has been making people take note of his performances, both at his parent club Chelsea and current club Southampton, where he is on loan.

The striker, who despite not being a starting option for Saints manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, who prefers a duo of Che Adams and Adam Armstrong up front, has constantly delivered the goods when given the chance.

He has scored 7 goals and an assist in 21 appearances in all competitions this season, while playing irregularly throughout.

The striker has also earned himself a lot of praise for his performances and earned himself comparisons to the likes of Diego Costa by the Chelsea dearest for his playing style in front of goal, lethality in the box.

The striker before his move to Southampton had only 1 Premier League appearance, however since breaking out this season the striker has managed to become the club’s top scorer for the season.

And thanks to his performances this season, even the Saints faithful have found a liking for the Albanian striker who has scored vital goals when his team needed him the most.

The forward was also on loan to Dutch club Vitesse last season, where he managed to score 11 goals in a total of 34 appearances at the young age of only 19 years.

Armando Broja can earn minutes at Chelsea after new contract

His spell at Vitesse was key in his development as a youngster

While his numbers this season in the Premier League may not look so astounding, we must remember that Chelsea’s star signing Romelu Lukaku only has 8 goals in 24 games this season.

Hi performance against Brighton last year was one of the Albanian’s best showings all season, where he ran over the Brighton defense several times in the game and scored a stunning goal which ended up winning his side a point.

With Armando Broja’s form this season, Chelsea fans are starting to question Romelu Lukaku’s signing, who has struggled all season with an interview controversy to boot.

Blues supporters erupted when news of him joining West Ham next season broke out, indicating they want Tuchel to groom him into a Chelsea striker for the future and take the mantle from Lukaku.

The Albanian was also putting on a show against Manchester City this past weekend in the league, a game in which the Saints managed to stall league toppers to only a point.

His current manager, Ralph had this to say about his development:

“The young players need time. We need to let them make mistakes and learn from these.”

“This ability he has and behaviour he shows is important because we are a hard-working club and if you want to perform here, you have to work hard for this team. This is what he’s had to learn since he’s here and it helps his development.”

And despite making a name for himself this season, the player is still very much a team man.

After his performances against Brighton, he was more disappointed with the team result than he was delighted with his performance, “I feel like we deserved to take three points, I thought we dominated the game but it’s a punch in the stomach to concede like that in the last minute.

“It’s a big disappointment how the game ended. We can take positives from the game but should’ve had three points. We’ll take the point and keep moving forward.”

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Club News

Chelsea put on high alert as London rivals move for Blues striker on loan

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Arsenal are reportedly monitoring the Albanian striker on loan from Chelsea to the Saints

Armando Broja, 20, has been a revelation ever since his loan move to Southampton this season, where he has racked up the numbers and impressed plenty.

His performances on the pitch speak for themselves, and his numbers in his first ever Premier League are proof of that. While 6 goals in 20 Premier League appearances may not seem much, he’s earned high praise.

Broja scores again, Southampton now hoping to sign him permanently from  Chelsea - We Ain't Got No History

Chelsea have keenly kept an eye on the Albanian’s progress this season

The evidence for that is Southampton want the striker to stay at Saint Mary’s Stadium for at least another season, perhaps on loan but would be happier if they were able to get him on a more permanent basis.

And obviously, in the aftermath of his performances, especially the one against Manchester United where he tormented Maguire, has started attracting interest from bigger clubs, like London rivals Arsenal.

Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for Barcelona in the winter transfer window due to a fall out with the club and Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have been looking to reinforce the void left behind.

However, since the Blues did not even entertain the idea of letting Broja stay for yet another season with the Saints, it is very hard to see they will let one of their rivals snap him up.

For Arsenal, they have a crisis in the forward line approaching in the summer with both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette set to leave on a free with contracts running down in the next few months.

With highly touted Gabriel Martinelli playing as a striker up front in training settings, it is not yet clear what Arsenal’s plans are for Armando Broja if they do plan to pursue him.

But it is not as if Chelsea are totally against the idea of letting go of Armando Broja, since reports from last month did cite a price a for the Albanian international for Chelsea to let go of him.

It would apparently take Chelsea’s management £20 million to ponder over letting him go to another club, however how much truth those reports hold is up for debate.

With the young striker having been tied down to a long term just last year in the summer and with no option to buy on for Southampton at the end of the season, it may be that Tuchel plans on incorporating him in the squad next season.

It is not unthinkable for Chelsea and Arsenal to strike deals for players, however the pattern with recent deals suggests that Chelsea usually only sell players when their powers are declining, while Arsenal does the opposite.

A deal is still very much not on the cards as Blues are very unlikely to sell him in the summer, much less to a Premier League rival in Arsenal.

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Club News

Tuchel has decided upon Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher’s future at Stamford Bridge

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The Chelsea youth academy graduate has been a hot prospect for this past season in the Premier League

The young talent has lit up the Selhurst Park this season with his amazing performances from the center of the pitch, with his coach Patrick Vieira even comparing him to Blues icon Frank Lampard.

The box to box midfielder’s undying passion and his footballing talent has made sure he’s managed to become a key part of the Eagles’ setup for this season.

Paris Saint-Germain want Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher for £50m  January transfer - Paper Round - Eurosport

It’s been reported that PSG are willing to offer £50m for him in January

Evidence of his quality can also be found in his numbers, as he’s managed himself 7 goals and 3 assists in just 16 starts in the Premier League so far, not to mention his MOTM worthy showings besides his numbers.

And it looks like the youngster has finally forced a decision upon Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who now intends to keep him for next season.

Conor Gallagher credits 'amazing' Patrick Vieira for England debut

Gallagher’s performance earned him a national team debut and could be in contention for WC22

Well, at least, according to journalist Jacob Steinberg, it seems that indeed the player is not going to be sold or sent out again on loan but rather kept in the Blues squad for this season.

“Conor Gallagher is gonna come back, Tuchel really likes him and he wants him to be part of Chelsea’s first team squad next season,” if these words said by Jacob are true, quite sure a lot of Chelsea fans will be delighted.

And obviously so, if the Englishman does come back to steal himself a spot in the squad as one of the midfielders next season, it means Tuchel’s men will undergo some changes come next season.

What this means for the team is that potentially at least 1 or 2 players may end up making a move away from Chelsea’s midfield to somewhere else, it’s already been reported that Jorginho wants a move back to Italy.

If this indeed does happen (and it may not), then Tuchel has plenty more reasons to keep Conor Gallagher at Stamford Bridge, as the team certainly needs that energy and talent in the center of the pitch too.

However, this all might not be necessary if Tuchel can pinpoint his role in the squad early on and some are suggesting that it should be to become N’Golo Kante’s backup for next season.

Gallagher as Kante’s long term replacement?

Now, obviously, reaching Kante’s level in the center of the pitch is not something anyone can just easily pull off. The player has been a machine ever since that Leicester title winning season and his move to Stamford Bridge.

Kante has been the one that has been pulling the strings and being the defensive cushion our players have needed for several seasons now, often doing more than enough work for two players.

Gallagher makes your team of the season so far - BBC Sport

The midfielder is among the best midfielders in the league so far

Nevertheless, his ‘blanket’ abilities that covered for everything in midfield now seem to be waning, as the player enters his thirties and has found it hard to cope with injuries recently.

Constant injury issues, which may have been caused by never ending travelling and fatigue may be catching up. And it may be time that the French midfielder receives some support in midfield now.

And for Gallagher, who better to learn from in his position than the Kante himself before passing on the throne eventually?

He definitely has energy that makes us think that he resembles Kante, a possible backup option for now and a long-term replacement given his stamina and work-rate in midfield.

In the end, however, it remains to be seen if he does stay at Stamford Bridge or not. If he comes back, there aren’t many players in his role that are better than him at Chelsea, other than Kante himself.

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Loan Watch

Conor Gallagher has truly had a METEORIC rise during his loan to Crystal Palace, READ all about him here!

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The Chelsea loanee has been compared to Stamford Bridge dearest Frank Lampard by his current manager

The English talent had been on the radar of Chelsea’s management and Thomas Tuchel before the season started and it was decided that he was yet not good enough to cement himself amongst so much world class midfield that Chelsea possess.

However, with Chelsea performing so poorly in all facets of the game, including midfield coupled with the rapid rise of Conor Gallagher as one of the most prized talents in the Premier League has made everyone stand up and take notice.

The box to box midfielder has scored 7 goals this season in 18 starts he’s made. Coupled with his never ending stamina tank to run across the pitch for 90 minutes, he’s already a scary prospect for his opponents.

Former Arsenal legend and current Crystal Palace manager had this to say about the Cobham graduate:

“It is a manager’s dream to have a player like Conor because when he is on the field, he will give everything. He is focused, concentrated and will always give his best. This is something that for me is really important.”

Besides this, the youngster has been likened to a certain box to box goal scoring midfielder that donned the Blue shirt for many a years. Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has likened Gallagher’s finishing to a certain Frank Lampard.

High praise indeed, but if he wants to keep improving and someday make it at Stamford Bridge, he has to have high ambitions for himself.

Thomas Tuchel has also showered praises upon the players, “We love Conor. We are convinced about him.” The German has also stated “I love him,” when asked about the loanee.

England cap already handed

It wasn’t only his parent and loan club that have been thoroughly impressed by his showings this season.

He was also picked up for the English squad in the winter international break, where he came on against San Marino.

Conor Gallagher credits 'amazing' Patrick Vieira for England debut

The player gave credits to former Arsenal legend Vieira for his first England cap

After coming on as a substitute, the energetic midfielder showed how good he really is right off the bat as he started bossing the midfield and came close to scoring a couple of times.

Gareth Southgate later said the player ‘deserved’ his England call-up , as he said “We’ve been very impressed with him,” he said of the Chelsea loanee.

What is his playing style?

The Cobham graduate is a young, energetic box to box midfielder who is involved in all facets of the game. From going back on defensive duties and disrupting attacks for opponents to showing up in the opponent box to scoring.

His best game in an Eagles jersey perhaps came against Everton where he scored a brace against the Toffees, including a potential goal of the season contender.

He was all over the pitch, making tackles, running the game through him as well as being lethal up front.

Besides his contribution in front the net, the midfielder is also a remarkable playmaker as shown by his assist tally, where he’s bagged 3 assists and a great key passes average per game.

Chelsea fans noticed what happened to Conor Gallagher after starting for  West Brom vs Tottenham - football.london

The midfielder has to work on his bad fouls conceded

However, if there is one aspect of his game he has to improve upon glaringly, that would be his fouls. He was very foul prone at West Brom last season and it seems much hasn’t improved this season either.

And for a top side like Chelsea, which relies on free flowing attacking, a player with problems in fouling properly and getting penalised can be a cause for concern.

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