Luton 2-3 Chelsea: ‘That’s why we call him Cold Palmer’ – forward shines again

30 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

“That’s why we call him Cold Palmer.”

The ex-Manchester City man showed his coolness with a brilliant brace and he celebrated both goals with his arms crossed to symbolise the new ‘cold’ nickname his team-mates have given him.

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced Chelsea were signing Palmer from Manchester City for £42.5m, but that price is already starting to look like a bargain.

‘He is a decisive player’

Since signing in the summer, Palmer has been involved in 12 Premier League goals, scoring eight himself and providing assists for four others.

The only player currently aged 21 or under who has been involved in more in Europe’s top five leagues this season is Jude Bellingham, who has been central to 15 goals at his new club Real Madrid.

Palmer’s opening goal was a ruthless finish after he was presented the ball in the penalty area, before his pass to Madueke set up a second. He completed his brace with an individual effort that will be replayed time and time again such is the composure and skill on show.

Palmer has stepped up when Chelsea have needed him and the 21-year-old has cemented himself as a key player for Pochettino.

He is now the club’s designated penalty-taker and he has forced himself into the England squad and has a good chance of going to the European Championship in Germany next summer.

It is the fourth time this season that Palmer has scored and assisted in the same game, which is more than any other player in the league.

He is also only the fifth Chelsea player to reach double figures for goal involvements (eight goals, four assists) in a single Premier League season while aged 21 or under, joining a list which also includes Arjen Robben, Eden Hazard, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.

“Hopefully it is just the start. I have adapted to a new life, new team-mates and the city. Hopefully I can show more on the pitch as well,” Palmer said.

Pochettino will be hoping that is the case for Palmer and Chelsea as they look to improve on a poor 2023.

“He is an important player for us,” he said. “He is a decisive player. I am so pleased with him and the team.”

Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas described Palmer as “sensational” on TNT Sports.

A year to forget

Graham Potter reacts during a match against Aston Villa in AprilGraham Potter was sacked after less than seven months in charge following a 2-0 home defeat by Aston Villa

For many at Chelsea, the last 12 months will be a year they hope will not be repeated.

They have gone through four managers, including the one match when Bruno Saltor took charge, and only Fulham and Everton have lost more Premier League games than the Blues (19) this calendar year.

One of the main issues that has blighted Chelsea is their inability to take chances when they are on top in matches.

The Blues have missed 40 “big chances” according to Opta stats, the most in the Premier League this season.

Nicolas Jackson has been leading the line but, at 22 years old and in his first season in the Premier League, has struggled.

Big-money summer signing Christopher Nkunku only returned from injury in the defeat by Wolves but the inability to take chances has led to discussion about whether the club needs to sign a new striker.

Chelsea are unlikely to spend more than £100m for a player in the upcoming January transfer window – making the likes of Ivan Toney or Victor Oshimen unlikely signings – but the club will be looking to bring in a forward in the next two windows.

“Always we have very good communication,” said Pochettino. “We are not worried about that. We are going to assess now, we have a few days and we will start the transfer window.

“We will talk and see if we need to do something or not.

“The most important is to work with the squad, it is only now pushing them to step up, recovering players, that is my focus, 100% to try to improve our squad and the players that we have.”

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