Chelsea boss Graham Potter reacts to Conor Gallagher making England’s World Cup squad


    Chelsea boss Graham Potter reacts to Conor Gallagher making England's World Cup squad
    The 22-year-old was a slightly rogue pick in the 26-man squad (Picture: Getty)

    Graham Potter is thrilled to see Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher in the England squad for the World Cup after he somewhat surprisingly made Gareth Southgate’s 26-man list.

    The 22-year-old has not been a regular starter since returning to parent club Chelsea – only making the starting XI once in the Blues’ last five Premier League matches – and did not make the England squad for September’s internationals, instead playing for the Under-21s.

    But Southgate feels Gallagher brings something different to his midfield options and Potter is delighted to see another academy graduate make it into England’s squad.

    Asked if he was at all surprised by Gallagher’s selection, Potter said: ‘Well it’s not really something I gave too much thought to if I’m being honest, it’s just nice for Conor.

    ‘Fantastic for us, great for him. He’s going to have a really positive experience I think and delighted for him. He’s worked really hard and he’s a fantastic person, so nice.’

    Probed on whether he had spoken to the midfielder to congratulate him yet, Potter continued: ‘Yeah, well I saw him the other day. It’s a fantastic honour for him.

    ‘We’re really pleased, everyone is really pleased, it’s a nice story. He’s been out on loan, come through the club and to get a chance to play at the World Cup is great news for him.’

    Chelsea boss Graham Potter reacts to Conor Gallagher making England's World Cup squad
    Potter is really happy to see Gallagher called up (Picture: Getty)

    On how injured full-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James have reacted to missing out, Potter added: ‘A natural reaction is to be disappointed.

    ‘Reece thought he would be close and he did everything he could to get himself close. I can understand his frustration and disappointment.

    ‘I think it’s normal for them to be down, it’s a World Cup and they don’t come around too often. But they’re strong characters and they’ll be fine.

    ‘They can focus on rehab now and then hopefully they’ll be back fit, strong and well.’

    Explaining Gallagher’s inclusion, Southgate said: ‘He’s fantastic at pressing the ball and I think there are going to be moments in these games where we need certain attributes and there are any number of players in this squad with different attributes to be able to utilise at those moments.

    ‘And we feel he could be that sort of a player. So he’s not as experienced with us as some of the others, but he has an impact in games, he’s got a goal threat.

    ‘When you talk about midfield players you look at: do they stop goals? Do they create goals? Do they score goals? He does a little bit of all of that, actually.’

    MORE : Chelsea using Thiago Silva to persuade Endrick to snub Real Madrid and PSG

    MORE : Graham Potter singles out ‘fantastic’ Lewis Hall after Chelsea crash out of Carabao Cup with Man City defeat

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