Three Lions host Malta at Wembley Stadium this Friday
Cole Palmer says his surprise move from Treble winners Manchester City to Premier League rivals Chelsea is already paying off after he earned a first England call-up.
Palmer scored for City in the Community Shield in August and again in the UEFA Super Cup but joined free-spending Chelsea in a deal worth up to £42.5 million ($53 million) on transfer deadline day, September 1.
The 21-year-old forward has scored four times and provided four assists in 11 appearances since arriving at Stamford Bridge.
He was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad after injuries to James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk.
“It happened fast, to be fair,” Palmer said at a press conference ahead of England’s final two Euro 2024 qualifiers, referring to his move.
“I spoke to someone at Chelsea and I was speaking to my dad, but I really didn’t know what to do.
“I was just thinking about it for a couple of days, like near enough every minute of the day.
“But then I just thought for my career and stuff I have to go and try and get regular game time.
“It was a big move for me. I’d never been out of Manchester, not even on loan or anything like that, so to move down there on my own was a big thing.”
A combination of injury and competition at Manchester City restricted Palmer to just seven starts last year as the club won the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.
He said he would always be grateful to City boss Pep Guardiola for launching his career.
“Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed,” he added. “Maybe I would have played more, maybe not. But I think the decision that I made to go to Chelsea so far is paying off.”
Palmer said he was enjoying working with Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose team are 10th in the Premier League table after an inconsistent start to the season.
“A lot of people told me how he is with young players,” he said.
“Ever since I went to Chelsea I can see it, so I’m enjoying working with him and excited to carry on working with him.
“He has given me the confidence and licence to go where I want on the pitch, where I feel I can use my strengths, so I’m grateful for it.”
England, who have already qualified for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany, host Malta at Wembley on Friday before facing North Macedonia away three days later.
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