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Thursday, April 14, 2022

N'Golo Kante's Real Madrid heartbreak helps Thomas Tuchel make easy Conor Gallagher decision

  N'Golo Kante underperformed again for Chelsea as Real Madrid soared past the Blues into the Champions League semi-final. The 30-yea...

 

N'Golo Kante underperformed again for Chelsea as Real Madrid soared past the Blues into the Champions League semi-final. The 30-year-old's performance will have made Thomas Tuchel's decision to throw Conor Gallagher into the deep end next season even easier.

The France international, who sees his contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of next season, has suffered various minor injuries this season, hampering his ability to nail down an undisputed role in the west London side's starting eleven. Overall, Kante has struggled to sustain the high levels that he's prided himself in recent years.

On the contrary, Gallagher has enjoyed an incredibly fruit-bearing season on loan with Crystal Palace, directly contributing to eleven goals in 27 Premier League appearances. The 22-year-old, who has been labelled the 'Kante with goals', shares a handful of similarities with the Frenchman, emerging as the natural heir to his throne.

Speaking on talkSPORT , former Blues striker Tony Cascarino claimed that Gallagher has the 'one thing that Chelsea haven't got'. He said:

"He does one thing Chelsea haven't got – they haven't got a proper goalscoring midfielder. And I mean more centrally.

"They've got lots of wide men who can chip in goals, and sometimes Mason Mount can play more centrally, (Callum) Hudson-Odoi can come inside into positions to score goals. But, for me, Conor Gallagher is like N'Golo Kante with goals.

"Kante is a brilliant player, he does so many good things for the side, but he has never got goals, and I see that in Conor Gallagher. I think he can do what Kante can do and give you a return of goals in numbers as well."


Tuchel has identified Gallagher as Kante's replacement, privately believing that the pair share a lot of the same desirable qualities, as per the Evening Standard. This season, the Frenchman has already missed eight games through injury - excluding Covid - for the west Londoners and has often been preserved for the Champions League.

But, after failing to live up to expectations against Real Madrid, Kante is making Tuchel's decision to prioritise Gallagher's game time all the easier. The Frenchman's experience mustn't be understated, but he could take the Cobham graduate under his wing, pass on his wisdom and ease the teething process.

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