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Cole Palmer’s rise from Pep Guardiola’s rejection to potential Euro 2024 starter

While Chelsea’s first season under Mauricio Pochettino has failed to meet expectations, the Premier League has been Cole Palmer’s for the taking. 

From a raw talent rising through the ranks at Manchester City to the Blues’ headline performer in his maiden top-flight campaign, Palmer has enjoyed a meteoric rise.

Relegation-threatened Everton fell victim to the 21-year-old’s devastating potential on Monday.

In addition to becoming the first Chelsea player to score in seven consecutive Premier League outings at Stamford Bridge, Palmer replicated Frank Lampard’s incredible feat in 2010.

His memorable quadruple made him the first Blues star since the legendary captain to bag four goals in a single league appearance, taking his seasonal tally to 20.

Only Man City’s Erling Braut Haaland has bagged as many Premier League goals this season, perhaps best illustrating Palmer’s glorious first season in the world’s toughest league. 

Pep Guardiola didn’t get the memo

Looking at Palmer’s astounding impact at Chelsea, it’s only reasonable to question Pep Guardiola’s decision to set the Englishman free. 

All the signs were there, pointing at the teenager’s bright future. Palmer was on the scoresheet in his first-ever Community Shield appearance, only ten days before scoring in Man City’s penalty shoot-out win against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup.

His scoring exploits in the summer of 2023 were a fitting reward for his significant contribution to England U-21’s victorious 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaign two months earlier. 

Somehow, it all flew under Guardiola’s radar. In fact, he embraced Chelsea’s offer with open arms a fortnight after Palmer’s stupendous Super Cup showing.  

Bargain deal

Todd Boehly’s short era at Stamford Bridge has been notorious for insane spending on ill-fitting players and overpaid flops, with Palmer’s acquisition a rare pinpoint piece of business. 

Boehly has shattered the Premier League transfer record twice, but a player he signed for ‘only’ £40 million has brought the most joy to the Chelsea faithful. 

Palmer’s versatility, sophisticated touch, playmaking skills and lethal scoring instincts encompass all the attributes the Blues have failed to gain from other, more expensive signings. 

Euro 2024 beckons 

England boss Gareth Southgate handed Palmer his senior international debut in November 2023 and made him part of his squad during March’s international break.

However, the Chelsea ace had to settle for playing second-fiddle to Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, a narrative that could flip before the Euro 2024 kick-off. 

Palmer has been in scintillating form in 2024, building a solid case for himself ahead of the tournament, with whispers of the possibility of him displacing one of the abovementioned stars gaining momentum. 

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