Chelsea’s sporting directors’ poor talent ID means key player can walk away for free in 12 months

We’re all aware of Conor Gallagher’s situation right now – Chelsea are likely to sell him because he has just one year left on his contract. But how did we get here? He’s a home grown player who the fans love, and who has been vitally important to the team. He wants to stay, so why hasn’t he been offered a competitive contract he will accept?

Liam Twomey’s piece today has a deep dive on it, and the conclusion, basically, is that the co-sporting directors don’t rate him:

“Chelsea’s sporting leadership and ownership have not been convinced he should be integral to their long term midfield plans,” he explains. 

Strategic failures laid bare as penny pinching comes back to haunt sporting directors

This has been what we’ve struggled to get our head around all this time – if Gallagher wants to stay at Chelsea, and Chelsea don’t want to lose him for free or for cheap – why hasn’t he got a contract yet?

The only possible answer is that he’s asking for more money than they’re willing to pay. But it’s hard to imagine his demands over the last 2 years have been that outlandish – surely he’s not asking more than the going rate for a player of his quality?

According to Twomey, basically those upstairs at Chelsea simply don’t rate him. That’s meant low-ball offers from them, while Gallagher’s consistently brilliant performances and subsequent appearances for England have only strengthened his argument that he deserves more.

If they had simply recognised his ability back when they arrived, we’re sure they could have signed him up for much less than he now wants – quite justifiably after proving himself as a reliable option for club and country.

Once again their attempts to save some pennies are going to cost them many pounds. It’s poor squad planning, poor talent ID and poor strategic thinking.

Tags Conor Gallagher


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  1. Weren’t we having a similar argument a little over a year ago about Mason Mount? SuperFrank went on and on and on about how he was homegrown and the absolute centerpiece of the squad and deserved the keys to the castle. And look how that turned out! The directors held firm against his wage demands and now look brilliant for having extracted a princely sum of a transfer fee for him rather than putting him on +200k/week wages while he sputtered out.

    Gallagher is not unlike Mount in that there is no one part of his game (beyond his work rate) where you say to yourself, “oh yeah, this lad is truly world class.” And isn’t that (“world class”)the standard we want to set at Chelsea before committing to 150k-250k/week wages? It’s one thing to pay big fees for promising but unproven young players who aren’t on massive wages, but it’s quite another to commit to paying them 10m/yr if they’re not tip-top talent.

    I like Conor Gallagher because he plays with heart and commitment, BUT I’m still not convinced that he’s destined to be more than a squad player for any club (like Chelsea) that aims to win league titles and other major trophies. Ask yourself—we he start for City or Arsenal or Liverpool? If you’re answer is “yes” then you’re delusional! He just doesn’t have the technical ability or the raw athleticism. Unfortunately, far too many supporters (like SuperFrank) have a blind spot when it comes to homegrown talent and they ignore obvious shortcomings (like Gallagher’s difficulty operating in half spaces between the lines). It’s natural to have affection for the boys who come up through the youth system, but this blind spot precipitates a lot of consternation around guys like Mount and Gallagher when a more clear-eyed assessment leads to only one inescapable conclusion—neither is so talented that they can’t be fairly easily replaced with either (a) someone who is clearly better and is well worth higher wages OR (b) someone just as good who isn’t demanding the pay rise.

  2. I just can’t believe what my club is doing first we buy crap like Jackson gold medal winner for missing. And a player that worked harder than the rest if you cut him in half it would say CHELSEA the two clowns that are in charge of recruiting need to watch him play and don’t sell if you need money sell players of the list of 82 on the books that will never play for CHELSEA.

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