‘I know how competitive he is’: Thomas Tuchel apologises to Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher for not being allowed to play for Crystal Palace against his parent club in Wembley FA Cup semi-final this weekend
- Chelsea face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley on Sunday
- Conor Gallagher will miss out on the action as he is not allowed to feature
- The terms of his loan deal prevent him from playing against his parent club
- Crystal Palace submitted a special request for him play but it was rejected
Thomas Tuchel has revealed he apologised to Conor Gallagher, who will be forced to miss Sunday’s FA Cup final due to loan rules, after bumping into him at a restaurant.
Crystal Palace made a request for special permission to allow England midfielder Gallagher to face his parent club at Wembley but saw that rejected.
Eagles manager Patrick Vieira was naturally disappointed that he will be missing one of his key players, described the situation as ‘frustrating for his development’ and admitted that he could see the situation temporarily affected Gallagher in training
Thomas Tuchel (left) apologised to Conor Gallagher, who will be forced to miss Sunday’s FA Cup final due to loan rules
Tuchel said: ‘I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could also see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, I think after the international break by coincidence in a restaurant and had a chat and the subject came up and I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot.
‘I know his character very well and it was a pleasure to have him here in pre-season. That’s the way it is.
‘We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan and I can totally understand Vieira and also the disappointment of Connor bit these were the rules when we did the loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules.’
The Chelsea boss claimed he could understand the midfielder’s disappointment at missing out
The midfielder’s absence is a huge blow to Vieira’s team after his impressive performances this season.
Gallagher has thrived since joining the Eagles on loan and has been influential in Vieira’s side reaching the final four of the prestigious cup competition at Wembley Stadium.
He has even caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate this campaign with his impressive form and could even potentially be on the plane to Qatar in November for the 2022 World Cup.
Gallagher’s impressive form has earned him England call-ups, the last two international breaks
Last week, the Eagles boss questioned whether the FA and the Premier League are hindering the development of young players by not allowing them to face parent clubs.
‘I don’t know if it’s a bad rule but what makes me think it’s not the best rule is that the only one who will lose is Conor,’ he added.
‘This is a semi-final, it’s a really exciting game about how you will manage yourself and prepare yourself during the week to prepare the game.
Patrick Vieira (pictured) described the situation as ‘frustrating for his development’
‘Playing this kind of game with this importance, that’s the experience that players are missing and I’m disappointed for him because he’s played all of the games so far.
‘If someone deserves to be part of the semi-final it’s him because of his performances.
‘The decision for Chelsea to send him on loan is for him to play these kind of games and we have the opportunity to play an important game, a game that would give him more confidence and belief.
‘Since he’s been with us he’s been fantastic and for him not to have a chance to get involved in that game, it’s frustrating for his development.’
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