(REUTERS) – Midfielder Conor Gallagher is aiming to be a key player for English Premier League side Chelsea after being assured of a place in manager Thomas Tuchel’s plans.

Gallagher, who played for Crystal Palace on loan last season, has yet to play a game for Chelsea, fanning speculation about the 22-year-old’s future.

“(Tuchel) said he wants me to be part of the squad and to prove myself in pre-season, so that’s the plan,” Gallagher told the BBC.

“It’s what I wanted to hear, it was a nice phone call that we had and it gave me a clear plan of pre-season and where I’m going to be. It was great to hear.”

Gallagher, who has earned four caps for England and made his debut against San Marino last year, was a pillar of Patrick Vieira’s Palace last season, scoring eight goals in 38 games to be named Player of the Season by the team’s supporters.

Gallagher’s Chelsea contract runs to 2025.

“Everyone wants to play as much as they can, but I’m willing to work as hard as I can to be on the pitch as much as possible,” he said.

“There are world class players in the squad and it’s obviously a tough team to get into but I feel like if that challenge is there, I think I’d be a bit silly not to take it.”

Last modified: July 15, 2022