In Focus: Gallagher eyeing glory with Chelsea and England
Conor Gallagher epitomised Chelsea's spirited performance in last Sunday's 4-4 draw with Manchester City.
The midfielder was full of drive and energy, playing a key role out of possession and providing the assist for his side's first goal with a well-executed corner.
Gallagher now looks to have established himself in Mauricio Pochettino's starting XI after a strong run of form.
Ahead of England's clash with Malta, we consider whether he can do the same for Gareth Southgate's national team.
Top of the class
That Pochettino has made Gallagher a feature of his new-look Chelsea side is hardly a surprise.
The 23-year-old is exactly the kind of youthful, effervescent player that thrived under the Argentine during his spell at Tottenham.
Gallagher's contribution for the Blues this season is reflected in the numbers.
No player in the Premier League has won more possessions in the attacking third (20), demonstrating his ability to press from the front.
He has offered quality on the ball too, registering a squad-leading four assists and 19 chances created.
Chelsea's No23 has also made more tackles (34) and interceptions (19) than any of his team-mates — and ranks first for completed passes into the final third (190).
The Surrey native is certainly in the starting XI on merit and making big strides forward after his first-team breakthrough last season.
Stand by me
Gallagher's emergence as a regular for Chelsea is made all the more impressive by the club's recent transfer business.
Midfielders Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo were both signed for upwards of £100million, while Romeo Lavia joined from Southampton in the summer.
But Gallagher has so far fought off the stiff competition for places, which bodes well for his prospects on the international stage too.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, he said: "Going into games half-expecting to be starting is a good feeling. I am mentally more relaxed and ready to perform.
"Last season it was not really knowing if I was starting or not, not really sure what was going on, what team we were going for, because of the number of players we have.
"Coming here [on international duty] I feel more relaxed, more into the squad. Hopefully I can play more for England and be a bigger part of the squad."
Whether Gallagher will fit into Southgate's system as well as he does in Pochettino's remains to be seen.
The former Crystal Palace and West Brom loanee is still relatively new to the England setup, with just 10 caps to his name since his debut in 2021.
He did not play a minute of the Three Lions' run to the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar last year — but his sights will be firmly set on featuring at next summer's European Championship in Germany.
As things stand, he is well placed to do exactly that.
If Gallagher can translate his club form on to the international stage — starting with tonight's game against Malta — he could quickly become a key player for England.