Conor Gallagher Scouting Report
Note - this scouting report format is a little different again compared to older formats. I’ll be using the English FA’s 4 Corner Model. This is far closer to a real report that I covered when completing my scouting badges earlier this year, and there’s elements that are closer to what a club would look for.
Anyway… Conor Gallagher is a name that some astute Premier League fans might have heard of - a Chelsea contracted player who was at loan at West Brom last season and is at Crystal Palace this season.
And his start in Patrick Vieira’s side has been pretty bloody good.
Conor Gallagher Scouting Report
When defending, Gallagher is activie in pressuring the ball carrier. Often, when an opponent recieves the ball between the lines, Gallagher is quick to close the space and force the opposition to make a quick pass.
An example would be against Liverpool recently - whenever Thiago collected the ball between Palace’s forwards and midfield, Gallagher was always closing him down.
His numbers back that up too - compared to other central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues, Conor Gallagher’s 25.15 pressures per 90 is right up there towards the top.
As you can see, his completion percentage is low, but I’m not to stressed about that as often he isn’t trying to win the ball, he’s just closing down that space for the opponent.
However, his tackling is still pretty impressive, and stacks up really well agianst other midfielders
When it comes to the attacking side of the game, Gallagher’s career has been a bit all over the place. His role last season is completely different to the role he’s playing at the start of this season at Palace.
Just look at this SmarterScout player ‘style’. Basically, it tracks a player’s actions on the field and gives then a score from 1-99 depending on how frequently they do certain things compared to others in their position.
There are some big differences between last season and this one.
Basically, Gallagher was an absolute dribble merchant last year. This season, while he still dribbles a lot, he now plays more passes towards goal, and also gets on the end of plays too - with very high shooting and receiving in the box numbers.
It’s a funny one though - because when you look at the numbers more, it isn’t the number of passes that’s gone up, his passes per 90 is still very low for a central midfielder, however he’s averaging about another 50-60 yars of progression on those passes over a match. So he’s passing towards goal more than he used to.
His role at West Brom was weird - and they had a bit of a mess of a season, so it’s hard to know what to take from it. I definitely wouldn’t call him a bad passer by any stretch. In fact, he takes all Palace free kicks and corners.
Passing numbers are still low though. Just check out these numbers - keeping in mind that these are the past calendar year, not just this season.
Still, 31 live ball passes is super low.
It’s still to early to tell if it’s a tactical decision to not have Gallagher constantly moving the ball around so he can get into positions to run at defenders, or if he’s just not got that part of his game yet.
Will be interesting to see moving forward.
Regardless, it doesn’t look as though Palace are going to be a slow, methodical passing team that racks up posession numbers.
The passing is the big question mark to me so far technically. As when he’s dribbling, he creates chances for himself and others, and is good at drawing fouls.
I really like Conor Gallagher’s movement off the ball - both when attacking and defending. Here against Tottenham, is a good example of one of his runs into space - unfortunately, his teammate couldn’t find him.
He’s made this type of run a lot - the wide forward (in this case, number nine - Jordan Ayew) hugs the touchline widening the back line, and Gallagher runs into those gaps.
He’s shown good recorvery position and defensive positioning too, always helping defenders, covering full backs, and tends to read the play well, getting himself in the right spot to clear the ball.
While I’ve spoken about Gallagher’s passing a bit here, he has shown the vision to complete some nice switch passes.
In this example agianst Liverpool, he was able to pick the gap for his fullback to attack, and spotted the run.
Maybe my favorite part of Conor Gallagher’s game is his attitude - he is always looking to make something happen and is mostly looking positive.
This can be to a fault at times - as he often tries long shots that have next to no chance of going in, sometimes breaking down a solid posession play.
As you can see by his shot chart, there’s a lot of shots from outside of the box. And while one went in, there’s plenty that missed the target completely.
This motivated play can also sometimes see Gallagher try passes that he can’t really make yet - however, I see that as a bit of a positive, as it’s something that he’s willing to try.
Don’t get me wrong, in the future, you’ll want to see him improve and then play within his limitations, but as a young player, I like to see one that has the desire to impact the match.
As a box-to-box midfielder, Conor Gallagher runs all day. His elite stamina can be seen, by not only the heat map that shows movement everywhere - but by the fact that when he does get the ball, he’s likely to try dribble, and not play shorter passes (although, as said before, he’s a more acitve passer now at Palace).
So in other words, he’s always moving.
Wilfried Zaha is a fan too, talking up his teammate this week:
Besies that stamina though, his speed, power and strength makes sure he’s able to compete at the Premier League level.
Impressive for a 21-year-old.
Based on Gallagher’s play-style and underlying numbers, here are some similar players.
Conor Gallagher’s Future
I’ve seen talk of Conor Gallagher getting capped for England - with his coach (yes, I know they spelt his name wrong) shutting down that talk.
I agree, it’s way too early for that talk. But the fact the talk is happening is a good thing.
As far as his club career goes, it’s a tricky one. Chelsea are absolutely stacked, and it’ll take a special player to start for that team - If he went back next season, he’d probably become a bench player. And then what? We’re looking at another Callum Hudson-Odoi/any other young Chelsea player?
He’s good enough to play big minutes for about 80% of the Premier League, and it’s a shame that Chelsea is in that 20% where he won’t.
I think it’d be best for him to move somewhere else to keep getting minutes - we see too many players stagnate at Chelsea just due to the numbers they have there.
Who knows though - the way he’s progressing, this part of the article could look really dumb in a few years.
Conor Gallagher in the Hobby
Conor Gallagher actually has quite a bit of product out - while it’s his first season at Palace, he was at West Brom last year, and featured in a lot of 20/21 sets.
A lot of them have made thier way to eBay too, with the Black Prizm 1/1 even being up for sale at the time of writing.
It’s good to see that all of his
Because he wasn’t a massive name last year, along with West Brom being relegated, a lot of his stuff doesn’t have that regular ‘rookie bump’ attached to it.
As time goes on, he’ll obviously get more product out too - I’d expect him to feature pretty heavilly in 21/22 sets. Actually, Palace will be sneaky good team to hop on in breaks as a cheap option.
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