Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Enzo Maresca has made his feelings clear on Cole Palmer ahead of Chelsea move

Enzo Maresca is on the verge of being appointed as Chelsea’s new manager, and his admiration for Cole Palmer is no secret.

The Italian tactician is poised to succeed Mauricio Pochettino, with Chelsea having approached Leicester for official talks.

A two-year contract, with an option for a third year, is anticipated for Maresca, and Leicester City is expected to receive about £10 million in compensation.

Maresca’s leadership saw Leicester’s triumphant return to the Premier League, amassing an impressive 97 points in the Championship season, earning acclaim for their playing style.

The 44-year-old honed his skills under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, where he also led the Under 23 team to a Premier League 2 championship.

During this tenure, he encountered Palmer, who has risen to prominence at Chelsea, notching an impressive 25 goals in a single season.

A recent FA Cup match brought Leicester and Chelsea face-to-face, providing an opportunity for Palmer and Maresca to reconnect, with the latter praising Palmer’s exceptional abilities.

Speaking in his press conference, Maresca said: “The only difference is, unfortunately with City, he had many players like him so he struggled a little bit. “At Chelsea now, he’s found more space so he’s showing himself, so Cole now is the player that everyone is watching.”

Palmer kicked off the season by finding the net in both the Community Shield and the Super Cup, before making a significant £40 million move to Chelsea.

His impressive performances have put him on the radar for Gareth Southgate’s England team for Euro 2024, underscoring the wisdom of his transfer from City in pursuit of regular first-team play.

“I don’t know to be honest, this is a question for Cole,” he added when asked if Palmer’s decision was the right one.

“But probably to decide to play every game, I said many times, we have players that unfortunately this year they didn’t play too much so they come to me or the club to ask to leave. At the end they work every day not to be on the bench, they work every day to play and when you don’t play, you are not happy.

“And with Cole, he decides to leave, with Chelsea, [so] he would play more minutes. With Cole, it was quite clear, if you see him every day in the training session or you see him when he plays some minutes with City. No one at City had any doubts about Cole as a player.”

Should Maresca be appointed, he is expected to bring assistant and former City and Chelsea shot-stopper Willy Caballero in as part of his coaching staff.

   

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