Football fans are debating whether Manchester City made a mistake selling Cole Palmer

One thing's for sure, he's giving Gareth Southgate a lot to think about ahead of this summer.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 16th April 2024

Football clubs are always going to have to roll the dice on players as we all know promising players who went on to become stars: Kevin de Bruyne, Gerard Pique, Mo Salah and so on just to name a few from the Premier League – but is that what Manchester City have done with Cole Palmer?

The 21-year-old from Wythenshawe was sold to Chelsea back in September 2023, having only managed to make a few scattered but impressive appearances for Man City, scoring crucial goals in the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup, but was still ultimately deemed surplus to requirements.

Shown the exit through nothing other than the sheer quality of Pep Guardiola‘s starting XI, not to mention plenty of strength in depth and quality off the bench already, the West London club paid what looked to be a handsome £42.5 million for the still relatively unproven youngster at the time.

However, with another hattrick to his name – a perfect one scored all inside half an hour, no less – and a fourth for good measure thanks to a penalty against Everton, he’s quickly become by far and away Chelsea‘s star man.

Not a bad selection.

In the same breath, many are now naturally wondering why he was sold in the first place. It’s no secret that City are spoilt for choice when it comes to talent amongst their ranks and certainly didn’t need the money from his sale; it was simply a case that Palmer wanted more minutes that Pep couldn’t promise.


Shouldering the responsibility for the decision at the time, Guardiola said he completely understood the Manchester-born and bred star’s drive and ambition, admitting that “[With] young players, we always want them to stay but this is normal.

“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.”


However, we dare say that if you were to tell the Catalan coach that same hungry prospect would end up being joint top-scorer with his Erling Haaland the following season and being, we think it’s fair to say he might at least hesitate before green-lighting his departure – and there are plenty more stats to boot.

Now, it’s impossible to know whether or not having the knowledge he has now would have made Pep second-guess his decision and take a chance on integrating Cole Palmer into City’s first team more regularly but put it this way, 25 goals and 13 assists in all competitions is hard to ignore.

That’s 11 in his last six games for Chelsea too.

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That’s all inside what is for all intents and purposes his full debut season as a first-team starter (which isn’t even over yet), let’s not forget, and while they’ve had similar situations play out with the likes of Jadon Sancho in the past, it must be a little frustrating to see him playing this well in the same only league only in a darker shade of blue.


On the other hand, it’s still early days Palmer could also follow that same narrative even further and see that huge momentum trickle out depending on how his sophomore season goes. He’s also a boyhood Man United fan and not that we’re saying we can see him make that move down the line, but we all know how that switch sadly ended up for Sancho.

For many fans, City or otherwise, the logic seems to be that letting him go was the right decision for everyone, as it’s allowed him to get that crucial playing time and shine like he has this season, which may not have happened while waiting to grab his opportunity off the bench at the Etihad.

Moreover, it’s not like the treble-winners aren’t still looking like they could defend all three of their trophies this year – although it would be interesting to see what impact Palmer has when he comes up against his former club in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend.

What do you think, were City right to sell Cole Palmer or should they have held on to him and given him the minutes he was clearly more than ready for?

Whether City made a mistake letting him go or not, England fans can be just content that Cole Palmer is part of the Euro 2024 squad.

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Featured Images — Cole Palmer/Man City/England (via Instagram)