Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed Conor Gallagher as a “priceless” player after his two goals inspired the Blues to victory at Crystal Palace.
Gallagher cancelled out Jefferson Lerma’s opener and scored again in the 91st minute before Enzo Fernandez got a late third to seal a 3-1 win.
The 24-year-old has been linked with moves away from the club.
“I think he is a player with a great commitment to the team,” said the Chelsea manager.
“He is always trying to compensate in every situation, in offensive and defensive situations. It’s priceless to have a player like him.”
Gallagher, who is reportedly valued at £50m, is contracted to Chelsea until the end of next season but his long-term future remains uncertain, with Tottenham suggested as a possible destination in the summer.
But Pochettino believes Gallagher is firmly committed to remaining at the club he has been at since he was eight.
“He has always told me it is to stay in Chelsea,” Pochettino added.
“He still has one year more on his contract. It’s a matter with him and the club.”
‘Gallagher is a leader’
The England midfielder’s goals against the club he spent the 2021-22 season on loan at were his first of the season in the Premier League.
But he has been an important player for Pochettino, making 23 league appearances this term and captaining the club during the absence of Reece James earlier this season.
“He’s always been working hard,” former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said on Sky Sports. “He’s one of the players that’s always cared about winning and about the club. “You find that even young players can have special abilities to be a leader. Conor is one of those players – he’s always worked hard, he’s always cared and he always tries his best.
“He’s a Chelsea boy, too. He’s pushing and he is one of the captains in the making, because of the way he is.”
Gallagher aims to keep improving
The win for Chelsea was their second in a row following their 3-1 win against Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Gallagher also scored in that game and the midfielder is determined to build on the momentum with fixtures against title challengers Liverpool and Arsenal on the horizon.
“It’s about consistency for us,” he said.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve been good and some where we’ve been terrible.
“We’ve got some massive games coming up and we’ll keep trying to improve.”