Gareth Southgate appears to have hinted he does not believe Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount can play in the same midfield, something that could be of note to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel ahead of next season. The Three Lions duo started alongside Jordan Henderson in the middle of the park in the 2-1 victory at Wembley as Southgate took the chance to assess some of his options ahead of the World Cup in December.
Yet in the opinion of the England boss, the team were left too exposed due to the emphasis of attack in the engine room.
Southgate is now seemingly in doubt over whether the pair can play in the same team or system.
“We feel that Mount and Gallagher are very good at pressing and are two attacking eights,” Southgate told Sky Sports.
“But we know that that system can leave you a bit vulnerable to the switches to the opposite full-back and the Swiss worked that out very well – which is why we made the change of shape in the second half.
“But we had an idea of what we wanted to do, and although we would have liked to have Bukayo Saka and a couple of the other wing-backs to look at that, I still think it was worth seeing.”
Chelsea could be faced with the same dilemma from next season when Gallagher returns from his loan spell with Crystal Palace.
The industrious, attack-minded midfielder has made a huge impact at Selhurst Park and Palace are expected to try and secure a permanent deal.
Gallagher earned huge praise from Southgate after the match for his performance, which would hint that he could have a big part to play moving forward.
Southgate continued: “He’s infectious, isn’t he? I think he can set the tone for the rest of the team, we see that with his club every week.
“He presses with ambitious. Some players get close to people and don’t actually win the ball. He goes and he makes contact and he turns a lot of ball over.
“In the first half that was important. We actually didn’t use that ball well enough. We had three or four moments in attacking transitions where, with a better pass or a better decision, we should have capitalised before we did on the first goal.”
Gallagher has already made it clear that he wants to return to Chelsea at the end of the season as he targets a breakthrough under Tuchel.
Steve Sidwell recently shed light on a private conversation between Gallagher and Rio Ferdinand, he said: “The mindset on him is incredible.
“Rio [Ferdinand] told me that he did an interview with him not long ago, and he said, ‘when you speak about me on TV, make sure that you state I want to go back to Chelsea’.
“He has supported Chelsea all his life, he is Chelsea through and through which makes the connection with the fans brilliant.”
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