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The Stats Behind Cole Palmer's England Call-up


Chelsea Have a New Star

Ever since Cole Palmer made the switch from Manchester to London at the beginning of September, he has emerged as one of the faces of Chelsea’s young project. He left the Premier League Champions in order to get regular game time, and he is currently one of, if not the first name on the team sheet for Chelsea right now.

Despite limited appearances and zero Premier League goals to his name, the Blues paid £42.5m for his services, a fee that could soon look to be a bargain. An incredibly highly-rated player at Man City, he was the victim of the success of those around him, rather than his own individual talent.

Having to compete with players such as Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish amongst others is no easy task when you are an up-and-coming player searching for regular minutes. Even more so in a team that has just won a treble and is looking to build on those triumphs.

His excellent performances so far have culminated in a first England call-up, which was announced the morning after he had won man of the match and scored a stoppage-time equaliser from the penalty spot in Chelsea’s 4-4 draw against his former club.

Proving City Wrong?

Chelsea spent over £400m in the summer transfer window, including £115m on Moises Caicedo. However, it may be £42.5m Cole Palmer who will prove to be the most important.

It came as a bit of a surprise when it emerged that the London club were seriously interested in signing Palmer from their fellow ‘Big Six’ rivals Manchester City, but they managed to get their man on deadline day.

City boss Pep Guardiola admitted himself that Palmer wanted to leave for regular football. The Spaniard assured him that his minutes would rise following the departure of Riyad Mahrez, but the youngster was adamant on his desire to leave. And leave he did, as he departed the club he had known his entire footballing career for a new adventure down south.

Despite his strong start, it is too soon to suggest that City should regret the sale. After all, they have a plethora of options in his position and currently sit top of the table. Chelsea’s sale of Kevin De Bruyne in 2014 came back to bite them now that he has established himself as one of the best players in the world, so naturally, there will be comparisons of the two situations. Of course, the Blues would be over the moon if Palmer were to reach those heights, but putting those expectations on such young shoulders would be unwise. He has nothing to prove, though he is doing all of his talking on the pitch. This transfer can be a great example of where all parties can be extremely satisfied with the outcome.

Palmer was already viewed as an elite talent, signified by his transfer fee, but not many would’ve predicted how fast he would settle in and hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge. His form has opened the eyes of the footballing world and has caught the attention of Gareth Southgate, who rewarded him with his first England call-up.

Perhaps just as impressive as his ability on the ball and his positivity going forward is his calmness in high-pressure situations for a player so young. At 21 years old, he has assumed penalty-taking responsibilities for his club and has converted all four he has taken so far. Two of them have come in huge moments, the first being the opener in the home game vs Arsenal, and the second being the 95th-minute equaliser against City last weekend.

Big Moments for Man City

Whilst Palmer did not score for Man City in the Premier League, he did step up in big and crucial moments for the club, including the equaliser in the Super Cup final against Sevilla back in August. City went on to win the game on penalties. Earlier in that month he had scored the opening goal against Arsenal in the Community Shield, showcasing his quality in important moments. This played a big part in the club receiving the fee that they did, despite the youngster’s clear lack of experience. Overall, he scored six goals in 41 appearances.

Palmer’s talent was appreciated at City, but he was never entirely trusted. There were questions surrounding his fit in Guardiola’s side, and ultimately he believed there was not enough minutes to go around.

The freedom offered by Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea’s system has allowed him to be the main man, conducting each attack and quickly developing relationships with those around him, none more so than Raheem Sterling, a teammate who he had been close with from their City days.

Mount and Havertz who?

Following the departures of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz in the summer, Palmer’s impressive form has meant that chance creation and goal-scoring have been a key area of improvement for Chelsea.

Palmer has already scored four goals, all from the penalty spot. He has also recorded two assists in nine appearances. His advanced stats are also good, as he has created five big chances, and made eight through balls. Chelsea have accumulated 26.84 in xG this season, a figure only bettered by Liverpool. Palmer has played a big role in boosting the attack.

In Mount’s final season at the club, he scored a total of three goals and grabbed two assists, two figures Palmer has already equalled or eclipsed. Havertz also had a tough time, scoring just seven goals in a more advanced role. The pair have continued their woes from last year at their new clubs, with Mount yet to register a Premier League goal or assist. Havertz has produced just one shot on target all campaign, and that came from the penalty spot, which he converted.

The composure and confidence of Palmer has seen him turn into a huge fan favourite very early on in his Chelsea career, and he is a player that gets the supporters off their seats, something his predecessors failed to do on a consistent basis. Whilst both Mount and Havertz are struggling at Manchester United and Arsenal, Chelsea believe they have secured a star, an elite talent who they hope will dictate their attack for many years to come.

As Peter Drury so aptly put it, City’s boy is now Chelsea’s man.