Cole Palmer has explained the reasons behind his decision to leave behind everything he knew to move to London and join Chelsea in the summer.
It was a decision which raised eyebrows in some sections. At the end of August, Cole Palmer had picked up winner’s medals in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last season, and scored in both the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup at the start of the current campaign.
However, on the back of those successes with Manchester City, where the 21-year-old had spent his whole career so far, Palmer decided to call an end to his time there and swap the Etihad for Stamford Bridge by joining Chelsea.
It was never going to be an easy decision to leave the city where he was born and raised, and the club where he had played since Under-8s level, but the forward explained why he felt it was an important move to keep progressing in his career.
‘It happened fast to be fair,’ recalls Palmer. ‘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 have to go and get regular game time.
‘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 here on my own was a big thing.’
It was a decision which has been justified so far, as Palmer has grown into life with the Blues already this season. Having started our last six Premier League fixtures, and registering four goals and two assists in his last five appearances in the competition, Cole’s form has been rewarded with his first call-up to the senior England squad for this week’s international break.
Reflecting on the exciting start to his Chelsea career, the forward was quick to highlight the role of head coach Mauricio Pochettino, in giving him the freedom to play his natural game and show his full range of talents.
‘A lot of people told me how he is with young players and ever since I went to Chelsea I can see it,’ he added. ‘So I’m enjoying working with him and I’m excited to carry on working with him.
‘I am a player who always wants the ball, anywhere, to try and help the team get out of a difficult situation or create a chance.
‘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.’
Pochettino himself has already said he sees plenty more to come from Palmer in the future, on top of his already impressive performances. It will be exciting to see him continue to deliver on that potential in a Chelsea shirt when he returns, hopefully as a fully fledged England international, for our next Premier League match at Newcastle United.