‘He’s too good to sit on the bench’ – Darren Bent hails 22-year-old Chelsea star

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Former England international Darren Bent has hailed Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher who has been impressive on loan with Crystal Palace.

Gallagher has been a spine in Palace’s midfield this season, and the energy he brings to the team is electric.

The 22-year-old has been backed by Bent to break into the Chelsea team next season.

“I would expect him to go back to Chelsea and play. He is too good to be going somewhere and sitting on the bench,” Bent told talkSPORT.

Meanwhile, Palace boss Patrick Vieira has slammed Chelsea for refusing to let Gallagher play in the FA Cup semi-final clash between Palace and Chelsea on April 17th.

The Palace manager said: “It’s not the best rule because the only one who will lose is Conor,” the Palace boss said in his latest press conference.

“There’s a semi-final, it’s a really exciting game about how you will manage yourself and prepare yourself to play that game, then there’s playing that kind of game and the importance of it.

“It’s an experience the player is missing and I’m disappointed for him. He has played all the games so far and if there’s somebody who deserves to be in the semi-final, it’s him because of his performances, so I’m disappointed he won’t be able to play.

“The decision for Chelsea to send him on loan is to play these kind of games. We have as a group an opportunity to play an important game and that game would have given him more confidence and belief. We could lose but for him to have been on the field is what he needs to keep developing himself.

“Since he has been with us, he has been fantastic and for him not to have a chance to get involved in that game, it is something frustrating for his development. I feel for him because he wanted to play in that game — every player would want to play in that game.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.