As the summer transfer window approaches its conclusion with different clubs rushing to tie up deals before the close of the deadline on Friday, reports have emerged that Manchester City have struck a deal with Chelsea for the transfer of young midfielder Cole Palmer. After coming through the club’s academy, the expectation has been for the young Englishman to follow in Phil Foden’s footsteps.
But reports from various media outlets suggest that a fee in the region of £40m ($50m) has been agreed for Palmer to swap the Etihad Stadium for Stamford Bridge. Even though the fee is significant for the young player, selling him is surprising as he was expected to form the fabric of the City team of the next generation.
Palmer's talent is undeniable and he’s definitely one for the future. Despite starting just two Premier League games last season, he was expected to grow into the team this term. He was thrust into the limelight early into the season playing in both the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup final. Having made an impact scoring in both games against Arsenal and Sevilla, many may have thought this would be the season to make his mark on the team.
Although the competition is fierce, the 21-year-old still has some time to grow and could develop into a regular first-team player in the next couple of years. But with the latest development, it appears manager Pep Guardiola is okay with the player leaving.
Palmer revealed in a recent interview of his desire for more game time and the possibility of leaving if that was not achievable. That may have also led to this outcome.
However, selling your best players or your best upcoming talents to your direct rival is never a good idea. Chelsea recently signed former City academy graduate Romeo Lavia from Southampton. Although the latter’s case was not a direct transfer, Palmer joining will provide a reunion for both players after their success at City’s academy.
If they do continue their development as expected, they could grow into superstars that may come back to bite City in future. Hopefully, the decision doesn't end up hurting the club in the years to come.