Conor Gallagher has come on leaps and bounds in a West Brom shirt this season and Ashley Cole has become the latest pundit to recognise his progress.
The 21-year-old is in the midst of a season-long loan move from Chelsea and he has certainly proven himself to be an integral figure in Albion’s unlikely Premier League survival push.
He sprung to life in the early part of the season before enduring somewhat of a mid-season lull, but he has come fighting back in the face of a spate of new signings to re-establish himself in the starting XI.
Gallagher’s form has not gone unnoticed by former Chelsea full-back Cole who waxed lyrical about him on Sky Sports [17:30, 04/03/21] prior to Albion’s fixture v Everton.
Cole said: ‘He’s been a very important player for West Brom.
“That hard work, dedication, that attitude he had [as a youngster at Chelsea], it’s just proved what he’s doing now is fantastic, he’s been the star player.”
He added: “You sometimes have to step out of that bubble at Chelsea and really go and fight somewhere else and I think he’s done that, he’s proved his worth and he’s definitely been a key player for West Brom.”
Risen to the challange
Cole is right about one thing – he’s certainly been a key player for us this season and was a rare bright spark in a shocking first half of the season which ultimately put paid to Slaven Bilic’s job.
We’re not sure we would go as far as to call him our ‘star player’ as Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone might have something to say about that, but he’s certainly been a valuable signing.
Gallagher suffered a bit at the start of the Big Sam reign and saw himself benched v Manchester City and Sheffield United earlier this year, but he has come roaring back to make four successive starts since we made a raft of new signings in the winter window.
Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have come into the midfield and impressed but that has done nothing to put off Gallagher who has completed the full 90 in our last four games.
Whether we can keep him next season rests solely on whether we achieve survival.
If we can then there is a possibility that we might see Gallagher line up again at The Hawthorns next season and fans can enjoy his talents in person.
We’d love that.
In other West Brom news, our view on the European Championship chances of Kamil Grosicki and Sam Johnstone.