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Sunday, April 21, 2024
Other SportsPep Guardiola: It was obvious Cole Palmer would succeed at Chelsea

Pep Guardiola: It was obvious Cole Palmer would succeed at Chelsea

Pep Guardiola says it was always just “a matter of time” before Cole Palmer became a crucial player for Chelsea, insisting Manchester City never harboured any doubts about his quality.

Palmer was tipped for big things at City but struggled for regular minutes after making his first-team debut in 2020, eventually being allowed to join Chelsea for £40million last September.

The 21-year-old has needed little time to adapt to his new surroundings at Stamford Bridge, scoring 14 goals and adding nine assists across all competitions since joining the Blues.

Perhaps the standout moment of Palmer’s Chelsea career to date came against his former club in November, as he scored a stoppage-time penalty in a remarkable 4-4 draw between the teams.

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Ahead of Saturday’s return fixture at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola was asked whether he always knew Palmer would star for one of the Premier League’s top sides.

“If he could play regularly, like it has happened, then yes,” he responded. “We had no doubts about his quality. He is a star player.

“He’s already an exceptional, exceptional player. He moved on and it was only a question of time before he showed his immense quality.”

Despite Chelsea and City having become accustomed to fighting it out for major honours in recent years, Guardiola hopes Palmer’s good run of form is only the start for his former player.

Asked whether he was able to truly wish a rival player well, Guardiola said: “Of course. He’s a lovely lad and he helped us to achieve what we achieved.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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