Neville Slams “Ego” Driven Summer Signing That Could Cost Chelsea The Chance Of Keeping Conor Gallagher

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville claims Chelsea’s decision to buy Romeo Lavia from Southampton last summer was down to “ego.”

The Blues paid £54m to beat Liverpool to the signing of the Belgian international but, after recruiting Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, Neville says the purchase was needless and the expense could now force them into offloading Conor Gallagher:

“They went and bought Enzo, they go and buy Caicedo and then through their ego they went and bought Lavia on the final day of the transfer window for £54m and then they have to sell Conor Gallagher? They didn’t need Lavia, he’s not even played a game for them anyway.”

Lavia has spent almost the entire campaign injured with ankle and thigh problems, so he hasn’t actually been given a fair chance to show what he can do.

Why was Lavia signed?

Much like Cole Palmer, the midfielder’s signing was based on the recommendation of Chelsea’s Director of Professional Football and Scout Joe Shields.

He had scouted Lavia for Manchester City and he then backed his signing when he moved to Southampton. Considering how well the Palmer move has gone, perhaps it is wise to trust Shields’ judgement on Lavia too.

Why will Chelsea “have to sell Gallagher”?

After the club’s lavish spending in 3 of the last 4 transfer windows, the Blues are now up against it in terms of complying with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules. The best way to balance the books before the end of the financial year will be to offload homegrown players.

Gallagher is a prime candidate because he has not signed a new contract and the club cannot afford to let him leave on a free next year. Moreover, he has plenty of suitors, including Tottenham and West Ham, so they can still raise a good sum from selling him.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.