Chelsea star reveals secret Mauricio Pochettino talks after nearly completing Tottenham transfer


Your morning Chelsea digest on Saturday, September 23.

Gallagher talks

Conor Gallagher has heaped tremendous praise on Mauricio Pochettino despite a shaky start to life in the Chelsea dugout. The 23-year-old midfielder was heavily linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge in the summer following the arrivals of Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia and Cole Palmer.

Speaking to the club website, Gallagher said: "If you had said to me last season that there’s going to be a couple of games where you lead the team out, I still would have laughed at you then as well. That shows the gaffer’s belief in me right now.

"And ever since I first met him, to be honest, I think a lot of the lads will say the same. He’s very honest and open with the players, and I’ve had good chats with him, and I think he appreciates what I can do on the pitch and believes in me. So I’m really grateful for that, and hopefully I can continue to help him and the team get better results."

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Caicedo update

Mauricio Pochettino has said Moises Caicedo needs to be assessed before deciding if he is available for Chelsea's match with Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. The 21-year-old midfielder missed last weekend's goalless draw with AFC Bournemouth after picking up a minor knee injury while on international duty with Ecuador.

Caicedo was forced to watch from home on Sunday as Chelsea failed to score for a second successive game. Pochettino, though, is hoping he can welcome back the Ecuadorian, who cost £116million in the summer transfer window, for the visit of Villa at the weekend.

"We need to assess Moises tomorrow," Pochettino said. "He was training in a difficult way, not with the team, until today. We need to assess him tomorrow to see if he can be involved for Sunday."

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READ MORE:Chelsea news and transfers LIVE - Ivan Toney interest, Moises Caicedo injury, Moukoko move

READ MORE: Chelsea spark Moises Caicedo injury fear ahead of Aston Villa clash after Bournemouth absence

Palmer likened to Maddison and Grealish

Joe Cole has likened Cole Palmer to James Maddison and Jack Grealish ahead of Chelsea's clash against Aston Villa this weekend. The 21-year-old midfielder will be hoping to make his first start for the club on Sunday afternoon when the Blues welcome Unai Emery's side to Stamford Bridge.

"He’s the Jack Grealish, James Maddison type," Cole told TNT Sports. "He’s got lovely balance, a lovely left foot. I’ve watched him mainly playing off the right, coming in on his left foot. But he could play as a 10. He can float anywhere in the final third, but he’s just a player that makes an impact. He’s a top, top player."

While Palmer has received rave reviews recently, Pochettino's plan to integrate him into the starting lineup has been crystal clear from day one. Upon the youngster's arrival, the Chelsea boss insisted that the player needs time to settle in at his new club before judgements are made

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