Mark Schwarzer has urged Chelsea not to sell Conor Gallagher before the end of the January transfer window.
Gallagher started on the bench for the second leg of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi final against Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening but came on as a second-half substitute as Mauricio Pochettino’s side secured their place in the final at Wembley next month with a 6-1 win.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who was working as a co-commentator for the match, raised questions over Gallagher’s future at Chelsea after the midfielder was omitted from the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge.
And former Chelsea goalkeeper Schwarzer believes Pochettino’s side would suffer a ‘big blow’ if they were to sell Gallagher, who has attracted interest from Tottenham.
Speaking about the importance of keeping Gallagher, Schwarzer told Sky Sports after Chelsea’s win over Middlesbrough: ‘I think even more now because of the amount of changes that Chelsea have had at this club.
‘You want to have that connection still with the fans. When things aren’t going particularly well you want to have those players who are fans, who are genuine Chelsea fans.
‘Mason Mount was another one – I know it hasn’t quite worked out for him as yet at Manchester United – but it would’ve been great, for me personally, to see him still here because I think he would have been a big-part player at this club but finances and rules.
‘I don’t think they’ve got anyone who can play in the way Conor Gallagher plays and it would be a big blow for them. But unfortunately I think some of these decisions are out of their hands because of the decisions they’ve made over the last 12 to 18 months.’
Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who has coached Gallagher with England’s national team, also urged the club to resist selling the midfielder before next week’s transfer deadline.
‘He’s a Chelsea fan, loves the club, I don’t think that he wants to leave, I wouldn’t want to see him leave,’ Hasselbaink said.
‘I do agree, how he trains with England it’s the same [as it is with Chelsea], always 100 per cent, you know what you’re going to get from him.
‘I did expect him not to play today because Chelsea needed to go a little bit more attacking but I think they’re also saving him for Friday.
‘I just hope he doesn’t go. I know FFP, the rules, and all that kind of stuff that comes with it but I really would want him to stay.
‘I think for the fans it’s somebody to relate to that comes through the ranks. I wouldn’t want to see him go.’
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