IAN LADYMAN: Cole Palmer has no regrets about joining Chelsea

IAN LADYMAN: Cole Palmer has no regrets about swapping Man City for Chelsea… but admits leaving the Premier League champions after 15 years was ‘difficult’ and reveals the meaning behind his goal celebration against his former club

  • Cole Palmer left Man City in the summer for Chelsea in a £43m deal
  • The 21-year-old scored against his former club on Sunday in a 4-4 draw
  • City had their pants pulled down by a development team – It’s All Kicking Off 

New Chelsea star Cole Palmer has opened up on the agonies of his move from boyhood club Manchester City.

Palmer, 21, left City for £43million at the end of the transfer window after being at the club since the age of six. 

Brilliant early season form culminated in the midfielder scoring his team’s equaliser from the penalty spot as Chelsea clinched a 4-4 draw with City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and has also earned him a first call up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Speaking at an England media day yesterday, Palmer was asked how difficult it was to make the move to the Blues and said: ‘It was a big move for me.

‘I’d never been out of Manchester, not even on loan or anything like that. So to move down there on my own was a big thing.

Cole Palmer has emerged as one of the best young players in the Premier League

The 21-year-old left Manchester City in the summer to sign for Chelsea in a £43m deal

Palmer earned his first senior England call-up this week, with Gareth Southgate including in the squad for Euro 2024 qualifiers as a replacement for James Maddison

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‘When I first went down there it was difficult, I was staying in a hotel but now I have settled in more and I’m enjoying it. It happened fast to be fair. I spoke to someone at Chelsea and I was speaking to my dad but I really didn’t know what to do.

‘I was thinking about it for a couple of days, every minute of the day and then I thought for my career I thought I have to go and get regular game time.

‘The competition that’s there at City, the players that were there, the players that they were going to try to sign. It was gonna be hard.’

Asked yesterday to compare City manager Pep Guardiola and Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, Palmer was diplomatic.

‘Next question,’ he said.

However he added: ‘Obviously you know how good of a manager Pep is and he gave me the opportunity and platform to kickstart my career so I’ll always be grateful to him.

‘Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed?

‘Maybe I would have played more, maybe not. But I think the decision to go to Chelsea so far is paying off.’

The 21-year-old cut a relaxed figure as he faced the media on Tuesday at St George’s Park

Palmer has been reunited with former City teammate Phil Foden in the England camp

Palmer stayed calm in the heat of all the late frenzy at Stamford Bridge to beat his former team-mate Ederson from the penalty spot. 

He has now scored important penalties against Arsenal, Spurs and City for his new club and after his latest one he merely celebrated with a shrug of his shoulders.

‘I spent 15 years at the club,’ he said.

‘I can’t really go and celebrate how I would usually celebrate if I have scored a 95th minute equaliser because it would have been disrespectful.

‘So I just decided to do a shrug. I don’t know why.

‘When I saw the ref give it I thought: “It’s my time”. I spoke to Raz [Raheem Sterling] and he said: ‘What’s happening?’ and I was like: “I wanna take it”. He was like “Fine” and when I put the ball down I just picked a spot and tried to put it there.

‘I felt I was waiting for a while to take it. So I did think about my old club and stuff but after that not really.

Palmer spent 15 years at Manchester City but felt it was time to leave in the summer 

The Manchester-born forward scored for City in the UEFA Super Cup final in August

Palmer helped City lift the trophy, but was off to Chelsea less than a month later  

‘It was a crazy game. I did feel a bit nervous before and it felt a bit weird to see everyone from my own club.

‘I had been there for 15 years. But when the game started it felt normal and it was a good game.’

Chelsea manager Pochettino has a good record of bringing through talented young players. Internationals such as Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Dele Alli all graduated from Pochettino’s Tottenham squad to play for England. 

‘Yeah a lot of people told me how he is with young players and ever since I went to Chelsea I can see it,’ said Palmer.

‘I’m enjoying working with him and I’m excited to carry on working with him.

‘He has given me the confidence and licence to go where I want on the pitch, where I feel I can use my strengths so I’m grateful for it.’

Palmer’s father is a former footballer and played a great role in his early development.

Palmer revealed he asked Raheem Sterling to take the penalty against City on Sunday

The youngster made no mistake from the spot as Chelsea drew 4-4 with City

But he felt his allegiances towards City mean the could not celebrate the late equaliser

‘Without my dad I probably wouldn’t be a footballer,’ he added;

‘He did numerous hours with me every night, working with me to try and make me a professional footballer. And yeh I am trying to repay him as much as I can.

‘I got the message about my England call-up right after the match. My phone was going crazy as I have City fans who are my mates and I have family and stuff.

‘But then I read it and read it again. It was confirmed. I rang my dad straight away and he was with my mum so I told them. They were buzzing.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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