Chelsea icon Joe Cole has told Pep Guardiola that he got rid of Manchester City’s own James Maddison when he allowed Cole Palmer to join the Blues in the summer. Palmer came through the City academy and made 41 first-team appearances for the club but left the Citizens to sign for Chelsea in a £42.5million deal.
“He’s the Jack Grealish, James Maddison type,” Cole told TNT Sports as he spoke about Palmer. “He’s got lovely balance, a lovely left foot. I’ve watched him mainly playing off the right, coming in on his left foot. But he could play as a 10. He can float anywhere in the final third, but he’s just a player that makes an impact. He’s a top, top player.”
Palmer netted for City in their Community Shied defeat to Arsenal at the start of August and then found the back of the net in the team’s UEFA Super Cup final win over Sevilla 10 days later. The attacking midfielder also enjoyed an outstanding summer for the England under-21s side as he helped his country win the European Championship title.
And ahead of the player’s move to Stamford Bridge, Guardiola said: “It’s not necessary to ask how good he is. You don’t need two goals in two finals to define how good he is. Cole in the previous season arrived in an extraordinary moment, he defined the game in the FA Cup and then had injuries. He couldn’t be there.”
Palmer made his Chelsea debut as a second-half substitute during the west Londoners’ 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge earlier this month. He then came off the bench at the weekend as Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw by Bournemouth.
City clearly had big plans for Palmer after nurturing him from a young age. But the 21-year-old’s Etihad Stadium departure has made a mockery of the words Kyle Walker said about him following the Super Cup triumph.
“Listen, this guy is incredible,” raved the England right-back, who is in his seventh season at City. “And he’s got good players to learn off and probably the best manager in the world. He just needs to keep going and keep his feet on the floor, which he does really well and keep scoring the goals.
“He’s got one in the Community Shield and one in the Super Cup now, so if he keeps improving – keep listening to me behind you – you’ll be fine.”