“I didn’t expect this type of impact” – Cesc Fabregas on his amazing successor as Chelsea’s creator in chief

It’s been a while since Chelsea had a player as creative between the lines as Cole Palmer. He’s a rare sort of superstar, without the crazy physicality of most modern Premier League attackers, but with more than enough guile and skill to make up for it.

In that way he’s certainly reminiscent of Cesc Fabregas, who was able to step into the men’s game as a 17 year old simply because of his quality on the ball and his vision. So there are few players better able to speak about Palmer’s qualities than Cesc, and he chose to do just that on the BBC’s Monday Night Club this week.

Cesc’s comments on Palmer are spot on, and show he’s been watching him closely this season, as we all have. It’s also interesting to hear him talk about how the 21 year old went from essentially a spare part in the Man City setup to a key component at Chelsea. That must remind Cesc of his own big moment, taking the risk on leaving Barcelona so that he could become a star elsewhere.

“I was a little bit surprised by the move. I remember I was doing the Champions League final in the summer and he was just warming up there, being one of these young players coming up, enjoying the experience, not being basically selected or looked at to feature in the game,” Cesc said.

“And then all of a sudden – a big move to Chelsea. He starts performing at a very high level with a lot of quality and personality. He wants the ball, he makes things happen – the final pass, he scores goals. He looks to me a bit like James Maddison for Tottenham. He’s that type of player that makes the team tick.

“He has this pause in him – sometimes in modern football, everything accelerates too fast and players don’t understand the moment when to pass or when to move. He has the composure in him that gives time to the strikers to make their runs.

“I have to say I’ve been very impressed, I didn’t expect this type of impact and he has been the player of the year without any doubt for Chelsea.”

Palmer’s debut season  at Chelsea has been a huge success no matter what happens now – he’s scored 13 and assisted 8. But games like the one tonight give him the chance to turn it from an impressive first campaign into a legendary one. The team have relied on him all year to dig them out of sticky situations – now they need him to repeat the trick a few times to drag them up the table.

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