When Chelsea signed Cole Palmer on transfer deadline day last summer for £42.5 million, there were doubts surrounding the deal. After all, the 21-year-old had only made three Premier League starts for Manchester City before his move to Stamford Bridge.
However, Chelsea had faith in Palmer’s immense talent and hunger, and he was equally eager to prove himself in the Premier League. His versatility played a crucial role in convincing Chelsea to invest over £40 million in him.
In today’s market, that price tag is starting to seem like a real bargain. Palmer’s introduction to life at Stamford Bridge has been nothing short of sensational, even in the weekend’s match against Brentford, despite Chelsea’s early defeat.
Having previously excelled as a false nine against Arsenal, Palmer was deployed as the No.10 against Brentford, a position where he has more experience at the senior level. Playing alongside Nicolas Jackson, they aimed to break down Brentford’s defense.
Palmer’s performance in the first half was nothing short of remarkable. He effortlessly weaved between Brentford’s defense and midfield, often going unmarked because of his fluid movement. This made it challenging for the Bees to keep track of him, and he became a spare man on the field, frequently popping up in various areas. If anyone tried to mark him, they would be left out of position.
For Brentford, it was a challenging situation. If they marked Palmer closely, they’d leave gaps for other Chelsea players to exploit. However, allowing him space to roam deep was equally problematic for the visitors. Palmer played some intelligent lofted through balls, which could have led to goals on a different day.
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea’s head coach, praised Palmer’s performance and character. He highlighted that Palmer arrived at the club in the final moments of the transfer window but has seamlessly integrated into the team.
When asked if he expected Palmer to perform at this level so quickly, Pochettino admitted that while there were expectations when they signed him, he couldn’t have predicted this level of performance. He recognized Palmer’s talent from day one but emphasized that the team needs time to improve collectively.
Palmer has displayed his skills on both the right side of the attack and in the center during his short time at Chelsea. Playing as a No.10 in the middle seems to suit his game better at the moment, providing a solution to Chelsea’s attacking issues, especially with the absence of Christopher Nkunku due to injury.
Chelsea’s players are willing to give Palmer the ball wherever he is on the pitch, and his creativity shines through. His performances are making the £42.5 million spent on him look like an absolute steal with each passing game.
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