Chelsea have had a quiet transfer deadline but it’s movement in North London that could have an impact on the Blues.
That’s because Arsenal are set to allow youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles to leave on loan, joining strugglers West Brom until the end of the season.
On the face of it, that has nothing to do with Chelsea, but it could impact the development of one of their youngsters in Conor Gallagher.
Gallagher has been on loan with West Brom since early in the campaign and has already racked up 15 Premier League appearances, all of which have been starts.
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And it will be interesting to see how Sam Allardyce slots new signing Maitland-Niles into the team with Gallagher also in the midfield.
Whereas Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has deployed Maitland-Niles at full-back, on both the right and left flank, one of the reasons the 23-year-old has favoured a switch to the Baggies is because he can play in midfield.
Any assurances Allardyce may have given Maitland-Niles, could lead to concerns from Chelsea that Gallagher’s play time could be reduced by the Baggies’ latest capture, but that does appear unlikely.
Gallagher, admittedly, has been a favourite under Allardyce, as well as his predecessor Slaven Bilic, and it is likely to remain that way with Maitland-Niles likely slotting into a defensive midfield role with the Chelsea loanee and Romaine Sawyers in slightly advanced roles.
But there is a way in which Gallagher could miss out. Should Allardyce err on the side of caution, his trust in Jake Livermore could lead to the experienced midfielder alongside Maitland-Niles and Sawyers, in a more robust set-up, leaving Gallagher watching on from the bench.
Allardyce has often gone with two holding midfielders with Matheus Perreira in an advanced role and if that remains the case,…