Conor Gallagher: Chelsea midfielder joins West Brom on season-long loan

Gallagher signs new long-term contract at Stamford Bridge before leaving on loan

Conor Gallagher, Chelsea
Image: Conor Gallagher will spend the rest of this season at West Brom

Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher has joined West Brom on a season-long loan after signing a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.

The England U21 international arrived at West Brom's training ground on Thursday morning and could make his debut when they visit Everton on Saturday.

Gallagher had appeared set to join Crystal Palace earlier this month, only for Roy Hodgson to sign Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi instead on a season-long loan.

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"There was a lot of interest from the Premier League, which is where I wanted to play this season, but this is where I want to be," said Gallagher.

"West Brom stood out to me because of the way they played last season. I played against them two or three times and I liked how they approached the game.

"I felt that it would suit me and it would be best for my development. I felt it could help me become the player I want to be and I'm pleased to get this agreement sorted."

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic
Image: West Brom boss Slaven Bilic thanked Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard for allowing Gallagher to join the Baggies

The 20-year-old, who is yet to make a first-team appearance for Chelsea, scored six goals in 25 league appearances during the first half of last season at Charlton.

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He was then recalled before he joined Swansea on loan and went on to help them reach the Championship play-off semi-final.

"I like to think I'm a box-to-box player but I'm also versatile," said Gallagher. "I like to think that I can play wherever in midfield and look to create chances and try to chip in with goals too. I hope I've got a lot to offer.

"The challenge doesn't worry me. I chose to go to Charlton last season knowing it would be tough but I felt I could flourish as a player in those circumstances. I'm willing to help the team as much as I can.

"I spoke to Slaven Bilic the other day just to see how things stood and I liked what I heard and how he wanted me to play. It all made sense to me and I'm really looking forward to getting started."

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'Ivanovic brings us PL experience'

West Brom recently completed the signing of Branislav Ivanovic on a one-year contract, sealing his return to the Premier League after three years away.

The 36-year-old left Chelsea in February 2017 and has been playing in Russia with Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Ivanovic became Bilic's sixth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Cedric Kipre, David Button and Callum Robinson.

"I know that he's a very positive guy," Bilic said of Ivanovic. "He's going to first of all bring quality to us - he's a top defender.

"Secondly, which is also very important for us, especially for a team who has to find ourselves at this level, is his experience both on and off the pitch."

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