Joe Cole has stressed how important Conor Gallagher is to Chelsea, urging him and the club to sort out his future as soon as possible.
Gallagher has been a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season, playing in all but one of Chelsea’s 27 games so far this season, starting 24 of them.
Moreover, in the absence of Reece James and Ben Chilwell, the midfielder has been captaining the Blues, but his future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain.
The England international has just 18 months left on his contract and talks over extending his deal have seen little progress.
As such, Chelsea are considering selling Gallagher this January while they can still get a significant fee for him, which would help them balance the books or fund a move for a much-needed centre-forward.
Tottenham have been linked with the 23-year-old, though Pochettino and many pundits have stated they feel the player should stay in west London.
Former Chelsea star Cole has now added his voice to this discourse, sayinng: ‘Conor Gallagher is a crucial one and is the face of the club.
‘He’s a captain in the leadership group, so to take him out of the team now would not be good. If I was advising him, I’d tell him he has a big future at Chelsea.
‘I think what Jordan Henderson was to Liverpool, he can be that for Chelsea.’
Henderson, who recently joined Ajax from Al-Ettifaq, spent 12 years at Anfield, eight of them as Liverpool captain.
Gallagher will next be in action on Tuesday when Chelsea host Middlesbrough in the second-leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, in what is a must-win game are losing the first-leg 1-0.
‘It’s a must-win game because to get knocked out by a Championship side would bring extra heat that’s not needed at the moment,’ Cole added.
‘It’s mostly important for the progress of the club and to allow Pochettino to keep doing what he is doing, as getting to another cup final would be epic for these players.
Since winning the Champions League, we’ve lost two or three finals and you don’t want to become that team.
‘We’ve got to get there first, and Pochettino must keep reminding people to be patient; we’re the youngest squad in the Premier League, we need to get players fit, they are also young.
‘So we need to trust in him and his good track record of developing young players.’
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