Joe Cole names Chelsea star who 'can't leave' this summer despite transfer links

TNT Sports pundit Joe Cole

Chelsea have been told by Joe Cole why it would be a mistake to allow Conor Gallagher to leave the club.

Sunday saw the Blues finish their campaign with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth on the final day of the Premier League season.

Chelsea finished in sixth place in the league standings and qualified for Europe in the process, although it's yet to be confirmed if that will be the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

Gallagher has been key to Chelsea's rise up the Premier League in the final weeks of the season. The midfielder made 50 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, missing just one match all season which came via a suspension, and scored seven goals with nine assists.

Mauricio Pochettino started Gallagher in all 37 of the Premier League matches that the midfielder was available this season.

However, there continue to be rumours that Gallagher could head for the exit door at Stamford Bridge this summer.

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However, Cole has explained why it's vital that Chelsea keep Gallagher at the club beyond this summer. The former Blues star acknowledged the potential need for the sale of players, but believes Gallagher has more than earned his place in Pochettino's squad ahead of next season.

"Conor Gallagher can't leave," Cole told talkSPORT. "I know there are issues financially but Conor Gallagher has been brilliant, from start to finish.

"Everyone has turned up in the last few weeks but Conor, you see a great player when he is playing in a struggling team. Conor was still there, captain as well. I think it is imperative that the club keeps him."