Date: 27th December 2021 at 7:20pm
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Chelsea returned to winning ways on Sunday thanks to a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. 

Despite welcoming back both Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi from Covid-19 isolation which ruled that pair out of the game against Wolves, the Blues were still without a number of first team regulars and started without a recognised striker due to mounting injury issues.

They fell behind, too, thanks to an unfortunate glancing header from Reece James that beat Edouard Mendy to give the hosts the lead.

Soon after they were back level though, through a Jorginho penalty, before half-time substitute Lukaku nodded them in front.

Jorginho then added another goal from the spot, his fourth in four games, to seal the victory.

The Blues’ recent form has highlighted the club’s lack of depth in central midfield, however, with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’golo Kante sharing he bulk of the minutes in the middle.

All three players have recently returned from injuries and both Jorginho and Kovacic were isolating last week.

In their absence, Saul Niguez has failed to impress and there was talk in recent weeks of the club recalling Conor Gallagher from an outstanding loan spell with Crystal Palace next month to solve the issue.

Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, they are unable to recall the Englishman, although Tuchel has dropped a massive hint that Gallagher will be involved with the club next season.

Gallagher has been one of the best players in the Premier League so far this season

Speaking amidst speculation that the Eagles will attempt to make the player’s move permanent, Tuchel admitted that the club are confident that the right choice was made in loaning him out.

“We love Conor. We are convinced about him,” Tuchel said about the young midfielder, who has six goals and three assists so far this term.

“We took the decision for Conor because when we looked at the midfield – Kovacic, Jorginho and Kante – he was considered number four in the group.

“Conor knew this all the way. An opportunity came up where he could clearly see more minutes and more responsibility.

“And it’s obviously a good decision because he is doing so well and everybody is happy. That’s because he plays every single game, and knows how important he is to the team at Crystal Palace.”

Tuchel’s comments appear to refute speculation that the player will make his stay at Selhurst Park a permanent one.

Instead, it appears that the 21-year-old will instead be drafted back into the fold at Stamford Bridge, possible being used as cover and to provide competition for the club’s three other midfielders.

With Saul returning to Atletico Madrid at the end of the season and Ross Barkley likely to leave, Gallagher could be useful as Chelsea will likely have a hectic schedule once again.

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