Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Guardiola reveals who was to blame for Cole Palmer joining Chelsea

Pep Guardiola acknowledges his responsibility for Manchester City’s inability to retain Cole Palmer.

The reigning champions transferred Palmer, a promising talent from their academy, to Chelsea last summer.

Despite being part of City’s treble-winning squad the previous season at just 21 years old, Palmer has thrived since joining Chelsea and has become their standout player this season.

Guardiola concedes that he didn’t provide Palmer with the desired playing time and understands his decision to seek opportunities elsewhere, as Palmer prepares to face City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The City head coach said: ‘For young players, we always want them to stay but this is normal. After two or three seasons he wanted more minutes than he had the last season. I understand completely.

‘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.

‘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 netted Chelsea’s crucial late equalizer against City from the penalty spot during their encounter at Stamford Bridge in November.

He currently leads Chelsea’s scoring charts this season, having notched 12 goals across all competitions, while also serving as their top assist provider with nine assists.

Guardiola said: ‘We knew the quality he has and the impact he has shown this season is enormous.

‘It is not just goals and assists, it is the quality. He is an incredible threat for Chelsea.’

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