Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Wednesday he has no regrets about allowing England midfielder Conor Gallagher to go on loan to Crystal Palace this term.
Tuchel’s side have been hit with a series of injuries to midfielders this season, while Gallagher has been in superb form for Palace.
Chelsea reportedly do not have an option to recall Gallagher in January because he has reached a certain threshold in the number of games he has played for Palace.
The 21-year-old has scored six times for Palace, earning comparisons with Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
Gallagher would have been an ideal addition to Tuchel’s squad given Jorginho’s back injury, N’Golo Kante’s knee problem and Saul’s struggles to adapt to the Premier League after his move from Atletico Madrid.
Mateo Kovacic is also only due to return from coronavirus self-isolation on Friday.
“I said many times how much we like Conor and how well he’s doing, and nothing has changed, we saw his goals, we see his performances all the time,” Tuchel told reporters.
“There’s absolutely no regret because maybe it seems like it was the perfect decision for him and we discussed mainly for him what the best option was in the summer.
“You cannot take the circumstances from now about the decision from July, it simply is not possible.
“We did what we did and we are very happy with it, because obviously it works out for Conor.
“We need to work our issues out, which is that we are a bit unlucky in injuries in the centre, and we’re suffering from it. But this has nothing to do with Conor.”
Tuchel also admitted he wants to protect the feel-good factor in Chelsea’s squad by avoiding any January signings.
Tuchel’s squad was described as “like a family” this week by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount.
“We are not in talks right now that we bring in players,” Tuchel said ahead of Thursday’s Premier League game against Everton.
“Because first of all we trust our squad, and hope that we can bring all our players back and be in full strength.
“Then we have a strong squad and a good atmosphere to protect. This is where we are right now.
“It is then one thing to have N’Golo back on the bench and to have Mateo back at the end of the week.
“Whether it is really N’Golo or Mateo at their best, I doubt it. It will take a while, but it will be a good day for us when both of them are back.”