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In Focus: Cole justifies fee as Chelsea career catches fire
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Dan Fitch
Cole Palmer has made a bright start at Chelsea
Cole Palmer has made a bright start at Chelsea

Cole Palmer is making the most of his fresh chance at Chelsea. 

The 21-year-old left Manchester City on transfer deadline day in order to find more first-team opportunities. 

He has quickly achieved that aim at his new club, becoming a vital part of Mauricio Pochettino's team. 

As he prepares to face Serbia with England's Under-21s, we turn the spotlight on the talented attacker. 

Chelsea opportunities

Palmer made an impressive start to the season at City, scoring in both the Community Shield and European Super Cup. 

Yet the youngster remained keen to leave his boyhood club having only managed 849 minutes last season across 25 appearances. 

A loan to Burnley looked likely at one stage before Chelsea swooped to seal a deal worth around £40million on transfer deadline day. 

Eyebrows were raised at the fee for a player with such little experience but Palmer has shown his worth in recent weeks. 

Handed his first start as a central attacking midfielder in the Carabao Cup tie against Brighton, the 6ft 2in starlet provided the pass for Nicolas Jackson's decisive goal. 

He has since started on the right wing in victories over Fulham and Burnley. 

Palmer was trusted to take a penalty against the Clarets, which he converted before setting up Jackson for another goal in a 4-1 win. 

Blues project

Cole Palmer is a creative force on Chelsea's right flank
Cole Palmer is a creative force on Chelsea's right flank

Palmer has spoken about Chelsea's difficult start to the season, the efforts being made to turn things around and his decision to join the Londoners. 

He said: "Most people are going give you criticism no matter what you do anyway, but don't get me wrong, we do need to win more games. I agree with the fans when they say stuff like that. 

"They just see the outside point of view. Obviously no one knows what goes on day-to-day and how many new changes there are. 

"Everyone is so new to the project, we just need to try to win some trophies to get Chelsea back to where they were. 

"There's pressure because you're playing for Chelsea but everyone knows how it is within the club. We have to go out with no fear. 

"I've maybe thought about my price tag once or twice but every time I've been training or playing, I forget about it. There's more responsibility, but that's why you play and get bought for big money. 

"The opportunity they offered me in terms of the project was good and I liked the look of it, I looked at the squad, weighed it all up and decided to go." 

Poch verdict

Cole Palmer converted a penalty against Burnley
Cole Palmer converted a penalty against Burnley

Chelsea have scored seven goals in three matches since Palmer became a starter having drawn a blank in each of the previous three. 

That a player so young and new to the club was given the responsibility of taking a penalty speaks of the standing that he already carries in the dressing room. 

After the victory against Burnley, Pochettino talked up his young talent.

He said: "The way he reads the situations and what the team needs in every situation, he can be the player who can link with his team-mates. 

"He is still very, very young, but with great personality and he has the talent and the quality."

Pochettino's praise will be put to the test as Chelsea host high-flying Arsenal after the international break.


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