Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has confessed he has been thoroughly impressed by Cole Palmer’s start to life at Stamford Bridge.
Palmer, who joined from Manchester City for £45m on this summer’s deadline, has two goals and two assists in eight appearances for his new side and was unfortunate not to add to his tally during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Brentford.
The 21-year-old was particularly impressive in the first half of the game, creating a number of chances which Chelsea once again failed to convert, and Pochettino was keen to praise Palmer after the match.
“He’s showing a great performance, character and personality,” Pochettino said. “You know, it’s always about the team and when you don’t win. For sure he is disappointed and we are all disappointed.
“We are happy in the way he arrived. He arrived in the last moment of the transfer window, he’s playing like he’s here for 10 years and showing his character and personality.”
Asked whether he expected such an immediate impact from Palmer, Pochettino added: “We expect always. You create expectations when you sign a player but of course, I cannot say I did expect that. If I say I expect I am lying. You always feel the player when you have the player. From day one when he starts to train you start to see the talent but the team needs time to be much better.”
During his post-match press conference, Pochettino also revealed he had to intervene to protect striker Nicolas Jackson from criticism from a fan towards the end of the first half.
“It was a moment we all felt frustrated,” Pochettino recalled. “After 40 minutes of playing really well and creating chances we didn’t score.
“This moment was a little bit down, the energy of the situation. He [Jackson] arrived to me and we talked about the position on the pitch and [tried to] find some solution and we gave direction to him. Because it was calm, one fan said ‘oh wake up’ and started to abuse a little bit. Nico, he lost a little bit of focus, I said ‘come on, be focused here’. He repeat again and I said ‘oh, let’s stop talking this way, we need support, stay behind the team’. That’s it, nothing more, very respectful and the fan was respectful, only he said ‘wake up’ and the player took it in a bad way.
“It’s normal because the player wanted to score, to provide a good thing. Nothing more.”
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