Phillips: Gallagher snubbed Leeds switch to work with 'idol' at Crystal Palace
Kevin Phillips admits he is surprised Conor Gallagher turned down a move to Leeds United to sign for Crystal Palace.
The former Eagles striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted as his former side announced the loan signing of Gallagher.
On Friday (30 July), Football Insider revealed Palace had fended off late interest from Leeds to sign the Chelsea midfielder.
The Whites were keen to sign Gallagher as cover and competition for the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich and Stuart Dallas.
Gallagher, 21, impressed while on loan at West Brom last season despite the club’s relegation.
Phillips claims the attraction of working with new Palace boss Patrick Vieira was too good of an opportunity to turn down for the midfielder.
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“It’s a great move for him,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“Though I am a little bit surprised because it was between them and Leeds.
“Palace are in a transition but they have persuaded the player.
“Vieira has clearly had a word and convinced him to stay in London, he has so much power.
“He’s a player where that’s his idol from when he was growing up, as a central midfield player.
“Who better to learn from? That’s possibly given Palace the edge even though Marcelo Bielsa is such a good coach.
“Bielsa doesn’t have that draw compared to Vieira, for a young midfielder.
“It’s a great move for Palace and he would have been a coup for Leeds too. He’s a brilliant player.”
Gallagher made 32 appearances for the Baggies last season.
His two goals came within days of each other as his first, in late November, gave Albion thier first win of the Premier League season