The Chelsea scout who played “crucial role” in making signing of the season last summer

Cole Palmer joined Chelsea on deadline day last summer and really hit the ground running. He earned his place in the team as soon as he was given a chance, and hasn’t looked back. He’s now joint top scorer in the Premier League and is most people’s choice for best signing of the season, perhaps in the whole of Europe.

But it could all have been so different, as Fabrizio Romano revealed in a really fascinating piece for Caught Offside. It turns out the attacking midfielder’s future was on the very of taking a very different course before Chelsea’s late intervention.

“Pep Guardiola said on Friday that Cole Palmer had been asking him for two seasons to leave Man City,” Romano explained in his regular Daily Briefing column.

“Burnley wanted Palmer on loan and Brighton were also interested in the player, but when Chelsea entered the race, it was impossible for other clubs to compete.

“Palmer wanted to join Chelsea and Joe Shields played a crucial role in the deal as he knew Palmer from the Man City Academy.

“He deserves huge praise for this move, and Palmer wanted to play on regular basis.”

The cream rises to the top

Of course, Palmer’s sheer ability means that eventually he would have found his way to the top, of that we’re sure. But playing in a struggling team like Burnley would have kept him much further from the goal and from the areas we’ve seen him being so ridiculously effective. This Chelsea team is certainly flawed, but at least the whole thing has long been set up to get the best out of Palmer, and he’s been able to shine even as teammates have struggled.

This will end up being one of those moments Palmer looks back on in the future and wonders, “what if…”, and not in a good way.

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