Conor Gallagher hopes to emulate Mason Mount’s rapid rise to the top

England Under-21 star Conor Gallagher wants to emulate Mason Mount’s rapid rise to the top.

The Chelsea midfielder – on loan at Crystal Palace – feels Mount is the perfect example to follow.

Mount was a key player for England at Euro 2020, playing five times as they lost the final to Italy on penalties, despite being forced to self-isolate with Ben Chilwell after the pair came into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who tested positive for Covid-19.

The 22-year-old has also become integral to Chelsea under Frank Lampard and now Thomas Tuchel, winning the Champions League last season, and Gallagher is eager to follow his Blues team-mate.

“If I copy that pathway I’ll be buzzing. That’s definitely what I want. What he has achieved already is amazing,” said Gallagher, ahead of England Under-21s’ games against Romania and Kosovo.

“He is a top player and a top guy as well. Fair play to him and the other youngsters who have done it through Chelsea and England. I hope I can do that.

“I set myself small targets, not long-term ones but I don’t want to complicate things. I take it game-by-game and week-by-week. There are things I want to achieve and want to be but for now I am focusing on the present and the next game.”

Gallagher scored twice to earn Palace a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Saturday as he settles into life under Eagles boss Patrick Vieira.

The 21-year-old was relegated while on loan at West Brom last season but feels the education he received under Sam Allardyce will be as important as playing for Vieira.

He said: “It is different but that’s how it’s going to be through my career. Different managers, different styles of play. I was happy with last season with the experienced I gained playing under Sam.

“I like the football Patrick wants to play, it suits me and is one of the reasons why Palace was a good move for me. Hopefully it helps me to show what I can do this season.

“I’m still developing and improving, I had a lot of experience last season with West Brom, hopefully I can be a better player for it this season.”

The Young Lions travel to Romania for a friendly in Bucharest on Friday before opening their Euro 2023 qualifying campaign against Kosovo in Milton Keynes next Tuesday, new boss Lee Carsley’s first two games.

Gallagher added: “There are a lot of new players in the squad and it seems exciting with the new gaffer and coaches.

“It’s a new era and we’re really excited with the new gaffer.”

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