This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Opinion’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand…
Charlton have so far enjoyed a bright start to the campaign, with Lee Bowyer’s Addicks side currently unbeaten after six games with four wins and two draws, including impressive performances away at Reading and Blackburn Rovers.
One of the shining lights for the Addicks, has been Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher, who arrived this summer at the Valley with a blossoming reputation.
The central midfielder has so far taken to the Championship like a duck to water, with his impressive performances in the centre of the park for Charlton providing one of the main catalysts for the South-East London side’s brilliant start to the season.
Playing in the left central midfield position of Bowyer’s preferred diamond formation, Gallagher has so far contributed three goals and two assists in his first six games, including match winners against Stoke City and Brentford at the Valley.
Playing a box to box role clearly brings out the best Gallagher, with his energetic performances being recognised early on by his parent club Chelsea, as he picked up the Academy Player of the Year award last season, whilst in addition to his achievements at club level, Gallagher was part of the England under-17 squad which won the World Cup back in 2017.
When looking in depth at his statistics, it is clear that the youngster provides a crucial role in Bowyer’s system of play, with the 19 year-old only spending minimum amounts of time in possession of the ball, as is shown by the amount of passes the midfielder makes per game, recording an average of just 24, which could be attributed to Charlton’s occasionally direct style of play.
When continuing to analyse the player’s passing stats, it is clear that Gallagher performs more a similar box to box role to that of N’Golo Kante’s for Chelsea, with the youngster only recording a pass accuracy of just 72.2% per game, whilst also contributing 1.2 interceptions per game, a trait of his game which has been identified as a strength by WhoScored.com.
With Chelsea possessing a sound history of producing top quality central midfield players, such as current manager Frank Lampard and fellow youngster Mason Mount, who has made the step up to the first team this season following a similar loan spell to that of Gallagher’s last season at Derby County, Gallagher will be looking to make a big impression on both Bowyer and Lampard alike.
If he can maintain his current form consistently for Charlton this season, there is no reason why Lampard won’t give him a chance in the Premier League next season, particularly with chances opening up due to the West London side’s transfer ban.