Charlton Athletic might have made the signing of the season in Conor Gallagher, as the Chelsea youngster continues his goal-scoring form in the Championship.
Few expected Charlton to be as high up the table as they are by this stage of the season.
After the opening games they were even higher, boasting an automatic promotion spot after winning four of their opening six games in the return to the Championship.
Lee Bowyer’s side faltered slightly in September, with the absence of Lyle Taylor proving a costly blow to his side.
But they’ve since regained some form and after winning two of their last four, their last being a 3-0 win over Derby County at the weekend, find themselves on level points with Preston in 6th.
One man who’s been a revelation at The Valley this season is Conor Gallagher.
In what is his maiden season in men’s first-team football, the 19-year-old has wowed fans with his all-round ability, and goals from midfield.
He joined forces with Charlton in the summer after the club’s Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen spotted Gallagher, who was voted Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year last season.
So far he’s scored five league goals and featured in every game of the Championship so far this season, his one the 3-0 win against Derby on Saturday being the pick of the bunch.
Picking the ball up with 25-yards between himself and the goal, Gallagher took one touch and had one glance at the keeper before picking out the top-left corner.
It was a goal of real class, and it begs the question: Has Conor Gallagher been the best midfielder in the Championship so far this season?
He’s now Charlton’s joint top scorer with Lyle Taylor, and has 1 assist to his name.
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Bowyer deploys Gallagher usually on the left of a three-pronged midfield playing behind a lone-striker, which has been Macauley Bonne of late.
From this position he can drift inwards, as he did before scoring against Derby, and also work the flank to create openings for those around him.
The overall teamwork that Gallagher puts in can easily be missed – he works relentlessly for his team, mucking in on the defensive side as well as being the attacking force he is.
There’s plenty of competition for the title of ‘Best Midfielder in the Championship so far’, but few names spring to mind ahead of Gallagher’s.
He’ll be crucial to any success Charlton have this season, and he’ll likely move on to bigger and better things in the capital next season.