Tuchel has 'no regret' over loaning Conor Gallagher to Crystal Palace

Thomas Tuchel insists ‘there’s absolutely no regret’ at Chelsea over their decision to let Conor Gallagher join Crystal Palace on loan, as he admits ‘it was the perfect decision’ for in-form midfielder

  • Conor Gallagher has scored six goals this season while on loan at Crystal Palace 
  • At his parent club, Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been battling injuries in midfield 
  • Tuchel has insisted he has no regrets over allowing Gallagher to go this season 

Thomas Tuchel insists there can be no regrets at Chelsea over the decision to let Conor Gallagher join Crystal Palace on loan.

Gallagher has been in terrific form for Palace, scoring six goals from midfield, including two in a 3-1 win against Everton on Sunday, while Tuchel has been patching up to cover for injuries to key players in the same department.

‘I said many times how much we like Conor and how well he’s doing,’ said Tuchel. ‘Nothing has changed. We saw his goals. We see his performances all the time.

Thomas Tuchel says there is no regret at Chelsea over their choice to loan out Conor Gallagher

‘There’s absolutely no regret because maybe it seems like it was the perfect decision for him, and we discussed mainly for him what the best option was in the summer. You cannot apply the circumstances from now to a decision from July. It simply is not possible.

‘We did what we did and we are very happy with it, because obviously it works out for Conor. We need to work our issues out, which is that we are a bit unlucky in injuries in the centre, and we’re suffering from it. But this has nothing to do with Conor.’

Tuchel’s problems in the midfield are magnified because Saul Niguez, signed on loan from Atletico Madrid, is struggling to adapt to the intensity of English football and the demands of Chelsea.

Chelsea have been hit with injuries in midfield, while Gallagher is flourishing at Crystal Palace

In the Champions League at Zenit, last week, Chelsea’s head coach opted for Ross Barkley and Reece James in the midfield in order to ease the strain on Jorginho, who has been playing despite back pain.

But there are signs Tuchel’s injury worries may be easing, with N’Golo Kante back in the squad to face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Mateo Kovacic remains in isolation after a positive Covid test but is expected to return to training on Friday.

Tuchel referenced his injury problems when asked about the form of Liverpool and Manchester City, who fired seven past Leeds on Tuesday, just three days after Chelsea needed a 94th minute penalty to squeeze to victory against Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

Gallagher was on target twice in the victory over Everton, including a stunning, last-gasp strike

‘Both teams have no injury issues at the moment, this helps a lot,’ said the German, when asked about City and Liverpool. ‘We knew before that if we demand from ourselves to compete with City and Liverpool for the title that we will face adversity and tough moments.

‘This was clear before and we cannot be surprised, give in or give up. This is impossible because we knew it before and committed before. We enjoy being in the middle of adversity and difficult moments.

‘Maybe it is exactly what we need at the moment to overcome it. We were lucky at the weekend but we did not feel so lucky at West Ham when we left with a defeat. We did absolutely not have luck on our side when we drew with Burnley.

‘We shouldn’t say sorry for a late victory [against Leeds]. We found a way to win this game. The next game is in front of us against Everton. We play at home and we do what’s needed to win three points. That’s it.’

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