20-year-old Chelsea midfielder completes loan move to West Bromwich

Slaven Bilic has hailed ‘top man’ Frank Lampard after the Baggies completed the loan addition of Chelsea youngster Conor Gallagher. U21 England international has signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea but immediately gone out on loan to West Bromwich for the rest of this campaign.

Gallagher spent the first half of last campaign on loan at Charlton and the second half at Swansea, winning many admirers for his displays in the Championship. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leeds have all been linked with a move for Conor, but the Baggies have won the battle to take him on a short-term agreement.

Slaven Bilic is thrilled with the move and has thanked his old West Ham United partner Frank Lampard for helping to secure it. ‘We’re delighted,’ said Bilic. ‘I know the player from the Championship last season. He made a huge impact, first at Charlton and then Swansea.

‘We were there it’s not like somebody has told us ‘it’s a difficult league and there’s a player there’ we were there. There was a chance in January we might’ve taken him before he went to Swansea, but it was very difficult and we couldn’t do it.’

‘I’m expecting a lot from him. It’s a new level for him; we’re gonna help him, he’s going to help us. Hopefully, it’ll be an exciting and pleasant journey.’

The Croatian manager played at West Ham United for a season-and-a-half in 1996-97, when Frank Lampard was making early strides in his career. Baggies takes on Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday in the PL and the 20-year-old midfielder could go straight into the squad for the game.