England’s Conor Gallagher admits he was not good enough for Scotland

England’s Conor Gallagher admits he was not good enough for Scotland

Conor Gallagher has revealed he was rejected by Scotland as a teenager. The midfielder has Scottish ancestry through his maternal grandfather and it was not always certain that he would represent England.

“My dad’s side is Irish and my mum’s dad is Scottish,” Gallagher said. “When I was 15 or 16 I wasn’t good enough to play for the England youth team so I think I went to train with one of the Scotland teams to see what I was like, and I wasn’t good enough for them either. I managed to work my way back into the England youth set-up and was lucky enough to stay in it.”

The 24-year-old, who grew up in Surrey, is part of England’s squad for Euro 2024 but he will be supporting Scotland when they face Germany in the tournament’s curtain-raiser tonight. “I’m looking forward to it,” Gallagher said. “It’s a great opening game for the tournament and I’m sure all the lads will be watching. It’s a massive game, two great teams. Germany are obviously a top team and I know Scotland will make it hard for them. It will be an interesting game.”

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Gallagher did not play a minute after being called up for the 2022 World Cup. He could have a bigger role this summer given there is doubt over who should accompany Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice in England’s midfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to start against Serbia on Sunday but Gallagher’s energy is likely to come in handy at some stage. The Chelsea midfielder was impressive last season and has been described as a “scurrier” by England’s manager, Gareth Southgate.

Gallagher, who is a transfer target for Aston Villa and Tottenham, took that as a compliment and agreed that playing in a deeper role for Chelsea at the end of the season was good preparation for the Euros. “I suppose so,” he said. “I’m always ready to play in whatever position. I don’t mind if it’s more attacking or defensive – I can do both, which is a good thing.”

Although Gallagher has an eye for goal and likes to get forward, he is unselfish and is focused on releasing England’s creative players. “There are a lot more talented attacking players than myself,” he said. “If I was to choose to take on three players and have a shot, or pass to Phil Foden or Jude, I’d probably pass to them.”

Source: theguardian.com