Selling Conor Gallagher in the ongoing January transfer window would cause Chelsea a big blow, according to former Chelsea goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer.
Gallagher was not in the starting XI as the Blues hammered Middlesbrough 6-1 to book a place in the Carabao Cup final in Wembley next month.
The 23-year-old did later come from the bench in the second half, but his initial absence raised questions about his Chelsea future, with ex-Manchester United defender, Gary Neville claiming it was an indication that the midfielder was going to be sold.
Schwarzer spent two years at Chelsea after joining from Fulham in 2013, and while the 51-year-old doesn’t share the same view as Neville, he has now stated that selling Gallagher wouldn’t be a wise decision.
Speaking on the importance of keeping the England international at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s victory against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, Schwarzer told Sky Sports: “I think even more now because of the amount of changes that Chelsea have had at this club.
“You want to have that connection still with the fans. When things aren’t going particularly well you want to have those players who are fans, who are genuine Chelsea fans.
“Mason Mount was another one – I know it hasn’t quite worked out for him as yet at Manchester United – but it would’ve been great, for me personally, to see him still here because I think he would have been a big-part player at this club but finances and rules.
“I don’t think they’ve got anyone who can play in the way Conor Gallagher plays and it would be a big blow for them. But unfortunately I think some of these decisions are out of their hands because of the decisions they’ve made over the last 12 to 18 months.”
Former Chelsea forward, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, also said of Gallagher: “He’s a Chelsea fan, loves the club, I don’t think that he wants to leave, I wouldn’t want to see him leave.
“I do agree, how he trains with England it’s the same [as it is with Chelsea], always 100 per cent, you know what you’re going to get from him.
“I did expect him not to play today because Chelsea needed to go a little bit more attacking but I think they’re also saving him for Friday.
“I just hope he doesn’t go. I know FFP, the rules, and all that kind of stuff that comes with it but I really would want him to stay.
“I think for the fans it’s somebody to relate to that comes through the ranks. I wouldn’t want to see him go.”