Charlton Athletic midfielder Jonny Williams has said former teammate Conor Gallagher “brought out the best in him”, three days on from the 19-year-old’s departure from the club.
Gallagher, 19, joined the Addicks on a season-long loan last Summer, but was recalled at the start of the week by parent club Chelsea after making a total of 26 appearances for Charlton, scoring six goals.
Williams, who played alongside Gallagher in midfield for the Addicks, has been discussing what the Chelsea youngster brought to the team during his short stay in SE7.
“He brought out the best in me. I sent him a message on Monday night saying ‘you’ve done so well – you walked through the door with no senior appearances and you are leaving us as a man’,” Williams told London News Online.
The 26-year-old said that in part was down to the role the manager played.
“It’s a credit to Bows [Lee Bowyer] for bringing him in and believing in him.”
The Welshman also admitted both himself and the squad did not expect it when the news was confirmed of Gallagher’s departure.
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“It came as a bit of surprise when you saw how much he enjoyed playing for Charlton and being around this bunch of lads.”
“I’ll miss him but it’s football. These things happen and you move on,” Williams added.
London News Online also report that it was not Chelsea that were pushing for a recall, but Gallagher’s representatives.
They are believed to have wanted the 19-year-old to join a side in the hunt for promotion.
He has since made the switch to Swansea for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign, linking up once again with former England Under-17 manager, Steve Cooper.
Jonny Williams’s comments clearly show how much the Charlton dressing room admired Gallagher on and off the pitch.
Despite his young age, the young midfielder showed maturity beyond his years while at the club. Williams’s observations that Gallagher has become a better player from the loan spell are widely acknowledged.
However, the revelation that Gallagher’s representatives pushed for another loan move to be finalised shows that Chelsea in fact not have the final say in the decision.
It is now up to the player to continue where he left off for Swansea during the second half of the campaign.