Chelsea boss has already delivered verdict on Newcastle United transfer linked trio

Graham Potter has already had his say on the Newcastle United linked Chelsea trio.

The Chelsea boss will have a decision to make this month as he looks to balance his squad following the high-profile arrivals of Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, David Fofana and Joao Felix already this month. This could open the door for the likes of Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech to leave.

The trio have been listed by The Telegraph as potential transfer targets for Newcastle this month. And Potter has had his say on all three players recently, without giving too much away on their future.

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Crystal Palace's English midfielder Eberechi Eze (C) is held back by Chelsea's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (L) as Conor Gallagher watches on during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on January 15, 2023. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

What Graham Potter said about Conor Gallagher at Chelsea

Potter was pleased with Gallagher’s performance during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.

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He said: "I thought he was fantastic; great energy and great quality. He was playing against a team he respects and likes a lot.

Conor Gallagher of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on January 15, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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"He’s been frustrated because he hasn’t had the game time that he would like but at the same time, he’s worked unbelievably professionally to support the team. So it’s nice today that he’s got that reward and was part of a winning performance."

Palace are also interested in taking Gallagher back to Selhurst Park while Newcastle are in the market for a midfielder given the recent injuries to Jonjo Shelvey, Elliot Anderson and Bruno Guimaraes.

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Although Potter appears reluctant to let the 22-year-old England international leave, Chelsea’s need to trim their squad could pave the way for a deal to be done later in the window.

What Graham Potter said about Hakim Ziyech at Chelsea

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea looks dejected following their side's defeat in the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on November 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ziyech has started just three times in the Premier League this season, assisting Kai Havertz's winner at home to Palace last time out. But he has struggled to maintain his place in the Chelsea first team since arriving from Ajax in 2020 with just 32 league starts over the past three seasons.

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"We know his qualities and we like him as a player,” Potter said. “At Chelsea there are always good players that aren't in the starting XI. Delighted for him to get the game time and help [Morocco reach the semi-final]. I kept in touch with him throughout the World Cup.”

Chelsea would be willing to let Ziyech leave this month as they need to remove two non-homegrown players from their Champions League squad. But his wages could prove to be a sticking point for Newcastle should they wish to get a permanent deal over the line. It is also unlikely Chelsea would consider loaning a player to a side they now consider a direct rival in the Premier League.

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What Graham Potter said about Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Like Gallagher, Potter also seems to be an admirer of Loftus-Cheek at Chelsea. The 26-year-old has started 12 league matches for Chelsea but hasn't featured since the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle back in November due to a calf injury.

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But Potter has been pleased with the midfielder’s conduct as he said earlier in the season: “Ruben has really impressed me, on and off the pitch. He is a humble guy who wants to learn and improve.

“Clearly, he needs a good fitness level to carry that big body of his around the pitch, but his quality is there. He is fantastic on the ball, great physicality, great athlete.”