Crystal Palace have had quite the season under Patrick Vieira, finding themselves in the top half of the Premier League table despite some major turnover last summer in terms of their playing personnel.
A number of their new signings have impressed, with Conor Gallagher chief amongst them. On loan from Chelsea, he has starred in midfield and become an England international in the process.
Unfortunately, he will not be available for the club's biggest game of the season.
Palace are set to face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final next weekend, with Gallagher's parent club opting not to let him play in the fixture. Premier League rules dictate that loan players cannot play against their parent club in that competition, although there is no such law in the FA Cup.
However, many clubs put clauses into their loan deals to give them the ability to decide whether or not the player can feature should they come up against them outside of league competition. On this occasion, Chelsea have decided that Gallagher will not be allowed to play.
Speaking ahead of their gamer against Leicester City this afternoon, Patrick Vieira said that Conor Gallagher was the one that would be most affected by this move.
It’s not the best rule because the only one who will lose is Conor.
There’s a semi-final, it’s a really exciting game about how you will manage yourself and prepare yourself to play that game, then there’s playing that kind of game and the importance of it.
It’s an experience the player is missing and I’m disappointed for him. He has played all the games so far and if there’s somebody who deserves to be in the semi-final, it’s him because of his performances, so I’m disappointed he won’t be able to play.
The decision for Chelsea to send him on loan is to play these kind of games. We have as a group an opportunity to play an important game and that game would have given him more confidence and belief.
We could lose but for him to have been on the field is what he needs to keep developing himself.
Since he has been with us, he has been fantastic and for him not to have a chance to get involved in that game, it is something frustrating for his development. I feel for him because he wanted to play in that game, every player would want to play in that game.
Chelsea have found themselves in a similar situation in the past. In 2014, they Thibaut Courtois played against the club in a Champions League semi-final while he was on loan at Atletico Madrid, with the Spanish side going on to win the tie.
Gallagher will not be granted the opportunity to do the same at Wembley next Sunday.