Eddie Howe has managed to get a lot out of this Newcastle United squad – but he probably wishes he had Conor Gallagher at his disposal.
The Magpies made an awful start to the 2021/22 season, and things looked extremely bleak.
So many players were underperforming, and confidence was extremely low.
Thankfully though, the takeover went through and the new owners moved Steve Bruce on, before splashing almost £100 million in January.
The picture is much brighter now, although Newcastle are still in a relegation battle.
But Howe has done well, and had a positive impact on a number of players.
The club made some great additions in the last transfer window with the new money. Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Bruno Guimaraes have all had great impacts. And also Kieran Trippier before his injury.
But there’s probably one man Howe really wishes he was managing at Newcastle.
Conor Gallagher was reported to have held talks with Newcastle last summer, as he sought to make a loan move away from Chelsea to get minutes.
In the end, he joined Crystal Palace of course. And it has been a truly fantastic season down at Selhurst Park for the youngster.
Gallagher has been a breath of fresh air under Patrick Vieira.
He’s played 31 games so far this season, and scored eight goals and made five assists.
But it isn’t just his attacking output that is causing people to be impressed.
Gallagher is rapidly becoming known for his incessant running and ability to press – traits that Howe regards very highly.
Vieira certainly adores him, saying recently (via Sky Sports): “He has got so much strength, so much power, so much mobility, but it’s about finding the right time to use his energy. He is unbelievable, and he is like that in life as well. He gives everything in every relationship with his team-mates and he plays in the same way as he is in his life.”
Eddie Howe would have loved to work with Conor Gallagher
It is a huge shame that Newcastle were unable to bring in Gallagher ahead of this season. Who knows what a difference he could have made had Mike Ashley pushed harder.
He is now showing at Palace what a brilliant young player he is. His potential is absolutely huge, and it’s possible he could even become a regular for Chelsea next term.
The way he plays, Howe surely would have absolutely loved being his manager.
The youngster runs his socks off every single game, and Howe is all about having players who can press and work hard out of possession.