Ex-England boss shares what role Chelsea ace should play at Euro 2024

Former England manager Sam Allardyce believes Conor Gallagher should start in midfield over Trent Alexander-Arnold against the better teams due to his defensive capabilities.

Gallagher, who had a brilliant season for Chelsea is currently in Germany with the England squad as they look to end their 58-year wait for a trophy at Euro 2024.

The 24-year-old came off the bench in last weekend’s victory against Serbia, his first minutes at a major tournament having not got on the pitch at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar despite being part of the squad.

Allardyce believes Gallagher should start against the better teams

With Declan Rice a guaranteed starter for Gareth Southgate, Gallagher is competing with Alexander-Arnold, Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton for the other midfield birth.

Whilst Alexander-Arnold’s quality on the ball and his range of passing are second to none there are concerns about his defensive capabilities and his awareness to play in midfield, particularly against the bigger sides.

Allardyce who famously managed England for just one game feels Gallagher should start against the top teams as the tournament progresses to the latter stages.

Conor Gallagher in action for England.
Allardyce believes Gallagher should start against the better teams at Euro 2024.

“If you want a defensive role midfield-wise because you’re playing against a much better side, you play Conor Gallagher instead of Trent [Alexander Arnold] because Conor will give you that energy in terms of winning knockdowns, but also shutting and closing the opposition down,” he told the No Tippy Tappy Football Podcast.

“I worked with him when he was young at West Brom and for a team that struggled so badly this lad never got his head down.

“He was only 19 and he was first on our team sheet because of the fact he did the hard yards, he did the unseen stuff.

“Against a better team, it would be him, you’d need to do a specific job on say [Ilkay] Gundogan if they play Germany. Say, ‘Conor, mark him out the game’. I think he can do that.”

England take on Denmark on Thursday knowing a win will see them qualify for the knockout stages, and Gallagher will be hoping for another opportunity to impress.

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