THOMAS TUCHEL has been warned by Gareth Southgate that playing Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount together could lead to defensive issues for Chelsea.
The England boss started the pair in the middle of the pitch alongside Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland.
But the Three Lions gaffer has declared that the Gallagher-Mount partnership left them “vulnerable” in the middle of the pitch.
Southgate has stated he was forced to take off Mount and Gallagher just after the hour mark due to tactical reasons.
His honest assessment could be a blow for Blues manager Tuchel next campaign if he had been thinking of starting the duo together.
Gallagher is expected to battle for a place in Chelsea’s line-up once he returns from his loan spell at Crystal Palace.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Southgate said: “We feel that Mount and Gallagher are very good at pressing and are two attacking 8s.
“But we know that that system can leave you a bit vulnerable to the switches to the opposite full-back and the Swiss worked that out very well – which is why we made the change of shape in the second half.
“But we had an idea of what we wanted to do, and although we would have liked to have Bukayo Saka and a couple of the other wing-backs to look at that, I still think it was worth seeing.”
Southgate then went on to laud the performance of Gallagher, who making just his second international appearance for England.
He added: “He’s infectious, isn’t he? I think he can set the tone for the rest of the team, we see that with his club every week.
He presses with ambitious. Some players get close to people and don’t actually win the ball. He goes and he makes contact and he turns a lot of ball over.
“In the first half that was important. We actually didn’t use that ball well enough.
“We had three or four moments in attacking transitions where, with a better pass or a better decision, we should have capitalised before we did on the first goal.”
Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp was also effusive in his praise for Gallagher, as he remarked: “He looked at home. He looked really good with his energy and that assist.
“His star has gone up today. He showed he could play at this level. He will be a proud boy in the dressing room.
“I thought he did himself no harm. He’s given Gareth Southgate a lovely problem and I was very impressed with him.”