Charlton Athletic have completed the signing of Conor Gallagher on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
The highly-rated midfielder, who was Chelsea’s academy Player of the Year last season, becomes Lee Bowyer’s eighth signing of the summer and will travel with his new teammates on Friday ahead of the Addicks curtain raiser against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
The 19-year-old, who will wear the number 11 this season, said: “I’m buzzing! I’m very happy to be here and can’t wait to get started. I wanted to play in the Championship and Charlton is a great club to come to. I just want to play as much as possible and the opportunity is there to do that here.”
Gallagher is the first loan signing of the summer and follows in the footsteps of last season’s midfield loanees Krystian Bielik and Josh Cullen. The pair improved dramatically during their time at The Valley and played a pivotal role in the Addicks' promotion to the Championship.
Bowyer was in high spirits talking about the Charlton new boy: “He’s an exciting young player. He can put his foot in, create, score and has a bit of everything so I’m over the moon to have him through the door. Clubs like Chelsea recognise what we have done previously with the young midfielders we had last season and this will be no different. I’d like to thank them for the part they played in Conor coming to us.”
Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen has watched Gallagher regularly for Chelsea’s U23s and is very pleased with what the Addicks are getting. He explained: “It’s something that’s been rumbling along for a few weeks and there were a few clubs in for Conor, as well, so I’m doubly pleased to beat them to his signature and do it in time for the first game of the season. His attitude is excellent, he likes to run, tackle and get up and down the pitch and his all-round midfield game makes him a very good addition for us.”
Gallagher started life as a wide midfielder but has moved more centrally in recent years. The youngster is highly rated at Chelsea making four appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy last season and earning a place on the bench for their Europe League final win against Arsenal.
The midfielder, who played a part in England U17s 2017 World Cup win, will be hoping to emulate the success of Jay Dasilva, the last Chelsea loanee at the club. In two loan spells Dasilva became a fan favourite and went on to win Player of the Year in a very impressive 2017/18 season at The Valley.
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