It is hard to deny what was a grim season for Tottenham Hotspur, with the Lilywhites failing to even secure European qualification after finishing in a lowly eighth-place, having also had to watch on as their north London rivals challenged for the title.
Having ultimately succumbed to the inevitable might of Manchester City, Arsenal are now looking to go again in their bid to end their 19-year wait for the Premier League title, with Mikel Arteta’s side only recently bolstering their ranks with the £105m signing of Declan Rice from West Ham United.
While there may be some envy among those at N17 at having to watch the England international make the move to the Emirates, Ange Postecoglou’s side could potentially snap up their own version of the 24-year-old with the signing of Conor Gallagher.
What’s the latest on Gallagher to Tottenham?
The Telegraph reported earlier this month that the Chelsea midfielder is being eyed by Spurs as a possible replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, with the 23-year-old having been priced at around £50m by those at Stamford Bridge.As per a report from The Guardian earlier this week, Postecoglou and co are believed to have held talks regarding the possibility of signing the former Crystal Palace loanee, with a departure from his current home having not been ruled out by the west London outfit.
How good is Conor Gallagher?
It may same outlandish to compare the £50k-per-week ace to the aforementioned Rice, although that comparison has previously been made by England icon, Wayne Rooney, with the ex-Manchester United man stating last year:”He can be a player, like Declan Rice, that can be that engine of that England team.”
That likeness between the two compatriots can be seen by the fact that the pair are both particularly adept at driving forward from their respective midfield berths, with Gallagher ranking in the top 19% among those in his position in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive carries, while Rice is only just ahead as he ranks in the top 18% for that same metric.
Much like the Blues man has been hailed as a “box-to’box” option by writer Zach Lowy, Arsenal’s new signing is also simply more than a defensive-minded option, with pundit Alan Hutton recently stating:
“He can dribble by people, he can see a pass and he actually can do a lot more than just be a defensive midfielder”.
The duo are also able to put in the hard yards defensively, however, with Gallagher averaging 2.58 tackles and 1.31 interceptions per 90 across the last 365 days, while Rice averages 2.17 and 1.73 for those same two metrics, respectively.
With the ex-Hammers skipper having been lauded as the ‘complete’ package, as per Sky Sports’ Adam Bate, could it not also be said that Gallagher is of similar ilk, such is the statistical similarity between the pair?
One bonus that the Tottenham target also has over his international colleague is his threat in the final third, as he memorably scored eight times while on loan at Selhurst Park during the 2021/22 campaign, while Rice has never netted more than four league goals in a single season to date.
With Gallagher’s reported £50m price tag less than half of what Arteta and co forked out to sign Rice, that deal could prove to be something of a bargain for Postecoglou…