Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher had a beautiful time on loan with Crystal Palace last season, and the 22-year-old saw his game develop at Selhurst Park.
Gallagher had an impromptu meeting with Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel back in April, and it permitted Gallagher to have a good opportunity to talk to Tuchel about his future.
Asked about their impromptu meeting at a pub in Cobham in April, Gallagher told the Daily Mail: “I was trying to hide!
“It was funny because I saw him through the window and whispered to my girlfriend, mum and dad, ‘God, it’s Thomas Tuchel’. He sat on the table right next to us so he couldn’t miss me.”
He continued: “I’ve got older brothers who say if you’ve got something you want to say, then do it. Managers aren’t scary – they want to talk to their players and know what your thoughts are.
“I told him what I thought and he said what he thought. I said I think I’m ready to play for Chelsea.”
Ahead of the new season, Conor Gallagher had a phone call with Tuchel, and the Blues boss encouraged him to earn his place during pre-season.
Gallagher said: “He said he wants me to be part of the squad and to prove myself in pre-season, so that’s the plan. I’m happy with that and just willing to work as hard as I can to prove to him that I can play for Chelsea.
“It’s what I wanted to hear, it was a nice phone call that we had and it gave me a clear plan of pre-season and where I’m going to be. It was great to hear.”
Gallagher has admitted staying at Chelsea is a risk worth taking for him, even though it might cost him a World Cup place if things don’t work out.
“I feel ready for a step up in my career,” he continued.
“If there is a chance to be a part of the team at Chelsea then I can’t turn it down.
“I’ve got to have belief in myself that I can show the fans and the boss what I can do.”
Gallagher’s decision will come as a big blow to Crystal Palace Patrick Vieira – who had always been keen on having the 22-year-old.
He added: “Patrick’s not been sure of my plans for next season, he might find out through this! I can’t speak highly enough of Patrick. He was perfect for me last season.”