Thomas Tuchel looks to have finally addressed the elephant in the room which questions N’Golo Kante’s future at Chelsea, despite Gareth Southgate’s worrying warning. The Blues boss has identified Conor Gallagher as the France international’s replacement, privately believing that the pair share a lot of the same desirable qualities, as per the Evening Standard.
Gallagher has enjoyed an incredible time on loan at Crystal Palace this season, directly contribution towards 11 goals in 25 Premier League appearances. With uncertainty looming amid Chelsea’s takeover and Kante’s growing injury record, the 22-year-old has emerged as the obvious solution to Tuchel’s next problem.
Kante sees his contract at Stamford Bridge expire the end of next season. He has already missed eight games through injury – excluding Covid – for the west Londoners this season and has often been preserved for the Champions League.
His injury record has ignited conversations among sections of the Chelsea fanbase, questioning as to whether he warrants as long an extension as his ability demands. But, in light of Southgate’s latest warning to Tuchel, the west London side should be inclined to tie Kante down to a long-term future in order to show the Gallagher the ropes.
The Three Lions boss spoke after the Chelsea loanee guided England to a 2-1 win over Switzerland. Southgate explained how Gallagher and Mason Mount could be incompatible unless they coordinate their pressing tendencies.
“Gallagher is infectious and he can set the tone for the rest of the team, and he presses with ambition,” he said. “He goes and makes contact and turns a lot of the ball over. We feel Mount and Gallagher press well but can leave us vulnerable to the switch.”
Tuchel must acknowledge Southgate’s stark discovery ahead of next season. Gallagher, who has a contract with Chelsea until 2025, has a raw talent that Chelsea crave.
So, following the England boss’ finding, the new Chelsea owners must make it a priority to extend Kante’s future so that he can pass on his wisdom to Gallagher. The Frenchman can take the youngster under his wing and ease the teething process of such an enormous change to the club’s spine.