“He’s better than Matthijs de Ligt” – Petr Cech compares 24-year-old Chelsea man to Matthijs de Ligt after win against Crystal Palace
In the ever-evolving saga of football leadership, Petr Cech has floated the notion that a certain Chelsea luminary might ascend to the ranks of leadership akin to Bayern Munich’s stellar Matthijs de Ligt.
Matthijs de Ligt, still donning the mantle of a teenager, assumed the captaincy at Ajax before embarking on a journey that led him to Juventus and eventually Bayern.
A nuanced comparison unfolds as Conor Gallagher, at the ripe age of 23, donned the captain’s armband for Chelsea this season, a few years senior to De Ligt’s initiation into leadership at his former club. Despite the youthfulness of Gallagher’s captaincy, Petr Cech drew parallels between the two luminaries on a recent episode of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
As the Chelsea legend observed his old comrades staging a triumphant comeback against Crystal Palace, Gallagher’s impressive stat of covering a staggering 13km in the match elicited surprise from the midfielder himself.
Cech, echoing his sentiments about De Ligt, postulated that Gallagher’s captaincy wasn’t merely a product of arbitrary decisions but a testament to an innate leadership quality. In his analysis on Sky Sports, the retired goalkeeper remarked, “You find it that even young players have this special ability to be a leader, even at a young age. When you look at De Ligt, for example, he was a captain when he was 19. And it’s not because somebody decides to give you the armband.”
The assertion of natural leadership abilities in Gallagher was underscored by Cech, who highlighted the midfielder’s unwavering work ethic, genuine concern, and relentless pursuit of excellence. With a nod to Gallagher’s roots as a true-blue Chelsea enthusiast, Cech identified a natural resilience and determination in him, dubbing him a captain in the making.
The prospect of a potential union between Conor Gallagher and Matthijs de Ligt, perhaps as teammates, tantalizingly hovers in the football ether. Chelsea, having been previously linked to De Ligt in 2022, might find themselves presented with another opportunity, considering reports suggesting the Dutchman’s discontent at Bayern. As Thiago Silva’s contract faces expiration at the season’s end, the Blues might indeed be scouting for a new defensive stalwart for the upcoming 2024/25 campaign, leaving the door ajar for intriguing possibilities.