Gallagher is back a Chelsea following an impressive loan spell with Crystal Palace last season, during which he got eight goals and three assists and earned his first call-ups to the senior England side.

Chelsea’s opening day win over Everton last weekend has ramped up rumours of another exit or Gallagher, as the midfielder only made a brief appearance from the bench as Jorginho’s penalty earned the Blues all three points at Goodison Park.

Thomas Tuchel has many central midfield options and given his apparent interest in bringing Frenkie de Jong to the club, Gallagher faces what looks to be a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge this season, which could slow his development and hamper his chances of going to the World Cup this winter.

And Darren Bent says he “fears’ for the midfielder and believes another loan move, perhaps back to Palace, would be best.

Bent told talkSPORT: “Conor Gallagher is the one I fear a little bit [for]. I like Conor, I thought he was brilliant for Crystal Palace last season.

“I think he needs to make a decision sooner rather than later. He either has to stay at Chelsea and tries to fight it out, with the fact that he might not be able to get any football or regular football until January, where they might allow him to leave.

“Or he goes ‘do you know what Thomas, if I’m not in your plans now, let me go somewhere else’. Go back to Crystal Palace, they need him and that’s all the fans speak about.”

Bent was then asked about a possible move to Manchester United, who look to have failed in their chase of De Jong this summer and are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements.

Bent added: “Yeah, I think so [Gallagher could play for United]. It’s a big jump from Palace.

“He’s not really played at Chelsea has he? But it’s a lot of pressure, especially with the state of Man United at the minute, which is not great.

“It’s still a massive football club by the way and it’s still a step up from Palace, you’d have to say. But would he want to step into that fire right now? I’m not quite sure.”

Chelsea boss Tuchel claimed in July that Gallagher could be a big player for him this season. The German said: “He can be a big asset for us.

“Conor trains at a really high level. You can clearly see it was the right decision to let him go on loan. He made a huge step in his development at Palace and became an England player.”