TONY CASCARINO warns Chelsea must do all they can to prevent Conor Gallagher from making a Stamford Bridge exit.
The Blues ace is enjoying an impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace, with his midfield performances earning him rave reviews from Eagles fans.
And ex-Stamford Bridge forward Cascarino, who made 40 Blues appearances, has gone as far as describing Gallagher as Kante with goals.
The Surrey-born Prem star, 21, has netted six times in 16 top tier games helping Palace, who play Tottenham on Boxing Day, rise to 11thin the table.
Cascarino, 59, told talkSPORT: “He does one thing Chelsea haven’t got – they haven’t got a proper goalscoring midfielder.
“And I mean more centrally. They’ve got lots of wide men who can chip in goals and sometimes Mason Mount can play more centrally, (Callum) Hudson-Odoi can come inside into positions to score goals.
"Mas, para mim, Conor Gallagher is like N’Golo Kante with goals.
“Kante is a brilliant player, he does so many good things for the side, but he has never got goals and I see that in Conor Gallagher.
“I think he can do what Kante can do and give you a return of goals in numbers as well.
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“He can get into the 18-yard box and ten seconds later he can make a tackle in his own 18-yard box.
“There aren’t many players in the game who can do that, and Conor Gallagher is one of them.”
Gallagher, who began his career in the Blues’ Academy at the age of eight, is yet to make a single senior Chelsea appearance after joining to their first-team squad in 2019.
Desde então, the midfielder has embarked on four loan stints away from the club at Charlton, Swansea and West Brom before joining Palace this season.
Too many great players have left Chelsea and have gone elsewhere. With this one, I think it’ll be a bridge too far to let him go
Under Patrick Vieira’s guidance, the player has flourished on the pitch helping the Eagles to pick up eight draws and four wins in 17 top-flight games.
This includes a 2-0 away defeat of 10-man Manchester City with Gallagher netting the second goal at the Etihad.
And the player earned his first senior England call-up in November coming on as a substitute during a 10-0 thumping of San Marino.
Cascarino fears history could end up repeating itself if Thomas Tuchel’s side allow the midfielder’s talents to slip through their fingers.
The player’s current contract with the club runs until June 2025.
In the past six years the Blues allowed two of the world’s most prolific attacking players to join rival Prem sides.
No 2015 Kevin de Bruyne sealed a £55million club record move to Manchester City from Stamford Bridge.
And Mo Salah swapped the London side for Liverpool in a £36.9m deal in 2017.
Cascarino added: “Ele (Gallagher) can’t leave – they can’t let this one go.
“Too many great players have left Chelsea and have gone elsewhere. With this one, I think it’ll be a bridge too far to let him go.
“I’d be amazed if Tuchel doesn’t have him back for next season, to be ready to fight for a place in that Chelsea starting line-up.”
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