‘My responsibility’ that Palmer left City – Guardiola

16 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Cole Palmer (left) and Pep GuardiolaCole Palmer only started three Premier League matches in his time at Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola accepts full responsibility for Cole Palmer leaving to join rivals Chelsea.

Since leaving City, Palmer has made his first two England appearances and scored 10 goals in the Premier League.

“After two or three seasons he wanted more minutes than the last season. I understand completely,” said Guardiola.

“If Palmer had the minutes I gave to Phil [Foden] from the beginning, Cole Palmer would be here – but I didn’t give them to him. That is my responsibility.

“Why? Because of Bernardo [Silva], Riyad [Mahrez], Phil. In that moment, I chose the other ones.”

Palmer, who came through City’s academy, started two Premier League matches in 2022-23 with a further 12 substitute appearances as Guardiola’s side won the title.

Mahrez moved to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli in a £30m deal in July and a month later Palmer scored at Wembley for City in the Community Shield against Arsenal, with the Gunners winning 4-1 on penalties after the game had finished 1-1.

Palmer also scored in the European Super Cup win over Sevilla, but he only featured for 10 minutes as a substitute in City’s opening three Premier League games of 2023-24 before moving to Chelsea on transfer deadline day.

“For young players, we always want them to stay but this is normal,” added Guardiola.

“After one season it is nice, and the second season, but the third season it is, ‘Oh guys, I want to play, I don’t want to sit on the bench’.

“It’s normal. We understand as a club. We got an offer from an incredible top club like Chelsea and I’m really happy for him. In all clubs these types of things happen.”

Palmer scored Chelsea’s late equaliser against City from the penalty spot when the sides drew 4-4 at Stamford Bridge in November.

He is Chelsea’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions and their top assist-maker with nine and Guardiola is not surprised at his success.

“We knew the quality he has and the impact he has shown this season is enormous,” added the Spaniard.

“It is not just goals and assists, it is the quality. He is an incredible threat for Chelsea. In the future you will not forget. It looks easy, but it’s not.”

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose side sit 10th, eight places behind Manchester City, felt the prospect of Palmer playing against his old side would not provide extra motivation.

“He’s not the type of player that needs to prove anything,” said Pochettino.

“I think he really is very grateful for his period at Manchester City, [but] he left because he wanted to find another challenge and to have the possibility to play more.

“Man City have an amazing squad. [Clubs] make decisions that we think are the best for the team. It doesn’t mean someone is not a good player.

“Players want to leave and you can’t stop them because you can’t provide the game time. It’s unfair to say they’re going to regret it.

“Man City are one of the best teams in the world and it’s not easy to find the space to play for a young guy.”

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