Who is Conor Gallagher? The Chelsea academy star training with the first team ahead of Man City

The 19-year-old has been with the first team this week.

Chelsea take on Manchester City on Sunday and one academy player has been involved in the build-up to the match with the first team.

Conor Gallagher has been one of the star players in the youth team this season, playing in central midfield on several occasions next to Billy Gilmour and George McEachran in the Development Squad.

But who is the 19-year-old and why has he been training with the first team ahead of the game with Premier League champions?

Gallagher is from the Surrey area and is part of a Chelsea-supporting family, while his brothers also play football to a decent standard, including one, Jake, who plays for Aldershot Town in the National League.

The youngster joined the Chelsea development centre aged just six, signed his first Chelsea contract at eight. But it is in the last couple of seasons and making the switch from further wide to central midfield that he has really started to shine.

Gallagher penned a scholarship deal with the Blues in 2016, before winning the Academy Scholar of the Year award in 2017 after a superb season under Jody Morris.

His performances also earned him a call-up into the England U17 side that travelled to India for the U17 World Cup. Along with Marc Guehi, Jonathan Panzo, McEachran and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Gallagher was part of the squad that clinched the title.

Gallagher made more of an impact in the competition as the tournament went on, also making a late appearance in the final.

The following season, Gallagher was a crucial member of the Chelsea U18s side that went on to win four trophies under Morris, including retaining the FA Youth Cup.

His performances earned him a contract extension with the Blues, which will run until the summer of 2021.

This season, Gallagher has been a constant in the Development Squad under Joe Edwards, playing the Checkatrade Trophy up against some of the senior teams in League One and Two.

A talented central midfielder, with good vision, weight of pass and a great amount of energy to get up and down the pitch, Gallagher has been getting his chance to train on occasion with the first team throughout the current campaign under Maurizio Sarri.

In fact, the midfielder was registered in the B List for the Europa League squad ahead of the final group match against MOL Vidi alongside McEachran, but it was just the latter that made the trip to Hungary and was an unused substitute.

But once again Gallagher has been training with the first team this week as part of their preparations ahead of the crunch game with City at the weekend.

While it is not expected that Gallagher will travel with the squad for the match at the Premier League, Gallagher is another impressive talent from the academy that will no doubt get more exposure to senior football next season if he goes out on loan.

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