Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs star slams £50m-rated Mauricio Pochettino favourite

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The former Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs defender launched a scathing attack on England international Conor Gallagher

William Gallas has claimed Conor Gallagher “slows Chelsea down” amid reported links to Tottenham Hotspur.

A topsy-turvy season for the midfielder has resulted in him almost leaving the club before being given the captain’s armband just weeks later. However, there are fresh suggestions that Gallagher could be sold to create Financial Fair Play headroom.

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As an academy product, the 23-year-old’s exit would be ideal for the balance sheet due to contract amortisation. Chelsea have been able to bankroll transfer splurges in recent years by offloading talent from the Cobham conveyor belt.

Only Benfica (£443million), Ajax (£323million), Lyon (£318million) and Real Madrid (£313million) have recouped more money from academy stars than Chelsea (298million) since 2014. Mason Mount was sold in the summer and Gallagher could be next, with Spurs understood to be expressing interest.

A man who played for both clubs - as well as Arsenal - believes Blues fans should not be dismayed if the England international leaves this month. Former defender Gallas believes Gallagher is a hindrance to Chelsea’s attacking play.

“Conor Gallagher is a great runner but, quality-wise, he isn’t the same as Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo,” he said. “He can help your team to press and press very high but, when he has the ball, his quality and technique is not number one.

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“It will take more time to play a pass and find his teammate, take an extra touch and in another situation, he should try and play one touch. I think it’s the opinion of many people that he slows Chelsea down a bit and maybe they need to change their system in order to give the opportunity to another player as this system might not suit them.”

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