Mauricio Pochettino compares Cole Palmer to Argentina legend Angel Di Maria
Quite a compliment for the summer signing.
The 21-year-old made something of a surprise £40m switch to Stamford Bridge from Manchester City in September and has hit the ground running in west London.
Despite serious upheaval at Chelsea, Palmer has managed to fit in well, already nailing down a regular place in the starting XI and scoring three Premier League goals.
The England Under-21 star has been very good, so good that some have even compared his style of play to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp and former Chelsea and Manchester United favourite Juan Mata.
The Mata comparison was put to Pochettino, but he had one of his own countrymen in mind to compare his young charge to.
‘Juan Mata? No, he is more Di Maria! You know, the body and the way he moves,’ said the Blues boss.
Palmer’s speedy and successful integration into the Chelsea team has raised questions as to why Manchester City let their academy product go, but Pochettino was not willing to speculate.
‘I think it is not fair to say it surprises me just because now he is performing and he didn’t play too much in City,’ said the Chelsea boss.
‘We are two different clubs, with different objectives. Maybe he fits well for Chelsea.
‘[Mateo] Kovacic left Chelsea for City and I don’t know what happened. It’s always difficult to judge these kinds of decisions.’
There will be plenty of attention on Palmer when Chelsea host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
City boss Pep Guardiola has wished his former player well ahead of the clash, saying he is glad to see him getting the minutes he was looking for when leaving the Etihad.
‘The reason why was that, he wanted game time,’ said Guardiola of why Palmer departed.
‘He has it so congratulations. He is a guy who came from the academy, he’s having success because it’s good for him and wish him the best.
‘Congratulations for Chelsea and him.’
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