Chelsea could replace Gallagher with late bid for “one of the world’s biggest talents”

Three midfielders Chelsea could sign to finally move on from Gallagher

The Blues could sell their homegrown talent this month.

Despite what their place in the Premier League table would suggest, Chelsea have actually been enjoying a run of good form of late, with five wins, one draw and just one loss in their last seven games in all competitions.

Those wins have seen them slowly climb up the league table, but perhaps more importantly for their season, it has seen them sneak into a League Cup final and the FA Cup fifth round.

The situation is looking much rosier for Mauricio Pochettino as things stand. Still, a week is a long time in football, and with the transfer window slamming shut at the end of this one, the Argentine could still catch the ire of the Stamford Bridge crowd if he oversees the sale of Conor Gallagher.

The Englishman has been one of the few consistently good players for the club this season and has taken the captain\’s armband in the absence of Reece James, yet rumours of his potential sale persist.With this in mind, the links to other dynamic midfielders begin to make more sense, although if Todd Boehly and Co proceed with their plan to sell the fan favourite, they better hope that his replacement hits the ground running – let’s take a look at three of them.

1.Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich

The first name on this list is one of the most highly thought of youngsters in world football, so much so that the German and English national sides battled it out to secure his services a few years ago, a battle Die Mannschaft eventually won. The player in question is, of course, Bayern Munich’s jewel, Jamal Musiala.

The 20-year-old was touted for an £87m move to west London earlier this month, and if the Chelsea ownership want to appease any fan anger over the potential sale of Gallagher, then signing the German superstar in his place is about the best thing they could do.It would also represent something of a homecoming for the four-time German champion, as he spent eight years in the Blues\’ youth setup before moving to Bavaria in 2019.

Since moving to FC Hollywood, he has exploded into one of the most dangerous midfielders on the planet, racking up 22 goal involvements in 26 Bundesliga starts last season before reaching seven in 11 so far this campaign.

Described as “one of the world\’s biggest talents” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, and from looking at where he ranks amongst other midfielders in Europe\’s top five leagues for several key metrics, it’s hard to disagree.

According to FBref, he sits in the top 1% for multiple statistics, including non-penalty goals, progressive carries and successful take-ons, while also sitting in the top 2% for things like shot-creating actions and non-penalty expected goals.Unfortunately for Gallagher, he doesn\’t get anywhere close to the German prodigy, and while he is clearly a decent Premier League footballer, signing Musiala would represent an enormous upgrade.

2.Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan

The second name on the list is a player who\’s less focused on scoring goals than Musiala and someone who perhaps more closely aligns with the sort of footballer Gallagher is, at least in ethos: a team player who never stops running and does the less glamorous, dirty work.

Nicolo Barella has spent the majority of his career starting in the centre of the park. However, he tends to float out to the right once the game kicks off. He fulfils the role of the \’mezzala destra\’, which essentially means he is given the freedom to get slightly further forward than a typical central midfielder while maintaining plenty of defensive responsibility as well.

The Italian was touted for a move to West London last month for a fee of around £80m, and while that is a significant amount of money, the quality and experience that he would bring to Pochettino\’s midfield might make it worth it.

Described as a “little warrior” by Kuilg, he would keep some of the busyness that Gallagher brings to the Blues\’ midfield while adding in some more quality passing and an increased attacking threat, something borne out in the numbers

For example, the Inter ace produces almost double the number of progressive passes as the Englishman and significantly more progressive carries, shot-creating and goal-creating actions per 90.

3.Bruno Guimarães – Newcastle United

The last player on the list would be the most expensive deal of them all, Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimarães.

The Brazilian midfielder was touted for a move to the Bridge earlier this month after news broke that the Toon would likely have to sell one or two of their current stars to finance their future spending. However, this didn’t translate to any discounts as the former Lyon man is still priced at around the £100m mark.

Since making his way to the English game in January 2022, the “complete midfielder”, as Kulig described him, has become integral to everything the Toon do, making an impressive 69 Premier League appearances, in which he has scored ten goals, provided nine assists, won 39 games and lost 17.

It is his attacking output that would make him a good replacement for the Chelsea man, as his underlying numbers are that bit more impressive. For example, despite taking fewer shots on target per 90, Bruno has actually registered a league goal this season.

Ultimately, getting this deal over the line would take a considerable financial effort, but it would kill two birds with one stone: weaken Newcastle and strengthen Chelsea.