Gareth Southgate reveals that England have been tracking Conor Gallagher “for a long time”

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Gareth Southgate has explained why he called up Conor Gallagher to England’s senior squad, revealing that he has been “very impressed” by the midfielder’s start to the season.

Chelsea’s youngster has had a number of promising loan periods in recent campaigns, but he has taken himself to another level this time with Crystal Palace.

Gallagher already has four goals for the season while he has also chipped in with a couple of assists. His latest performances were even enough to give him a nomination for PFA Vertu Motor’s Premier League Fans’ Player of the Month for October.

Things got even better for Gallagher during the week when he received his first call from England after Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling were all forced to withdraw from the starting squad.

Speaking ahead of his side’s final World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Monday, Southgate revealed his reasoning behind the decision.

“We have been very impressed with him. We have followed Conor for quite some time; his loan spells at Charlton, at Swansea, at West Brom and now at Crystal Palace,” he said.

“With every loan he has done extremely well and he has started the season very well with Palace. We talked about him when we appointed the original squad as someone we were keen to keep an eye on.

“I guess that’s one of the benefits of being in U-21 because it was an easy transition for us to get him. That does not mean he’s just here because of it, he’s here because he deserves to be here.”

With Three Lions short numbers, there is a good chance that Gallagher can end a good start to the season with a first senior cap on Monday night. England demand a draw against San Marino – the lowest ranked FIFA nation in the world – to secure promotion to the World Cup next year.

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