Cole Palmer sends message to Chelsea teammate Romeo Lavia

Cole Palmer is hoping to have former Manchester City academy teammate Romeo Lavia back on his team soon as the Chelsea midfielder continues to recover from injury. Lavia has only played half an hour for the Blues this season after picking up consistent knocks and setbacks since joining in the summer.

During his one and only performance under Mauricio Pochettino so far, Palmer wasn’t even on the pitch. It means that their last appearance together was back in April 2022, for the City Under-23 side. Palmer scored twice that day and assisted another, Lavia set up his first.

The quality of the City side in age group football is undoubted, with first-team regulars Rico Lewis and Oscar Bobb involved as well as Southampton starlet Samuel Edozie, Sheffield United’s James McAtee, and Hull’s Liam Delap all playing in a 7-0 win on that occasion. Palmer and Lavia are two of the biggest success stories to come from the academy so far as well though.

That the pair of them are now at Chelsea is a credit to the foundations in place at the Etihad Campus – though there are those that will argue the Blues have their own goldmine of young players not being fully explored. Now, though, the task is to get them playing together.

Lavia arrived before Palmer in August 2023, but came in undercooked having hardly been involved in pre-season with Saints due to ongoing transfer speculation. As he looked to build-up fitness ahead of a debut, he injured himself. That has spiralled since and led to four months out.

The brief emergence as a first-team option in December was short-lived as he was again ruled out soon after his debut as a substitute against Crystal Palace. He is now back on the grass at Cobham with a return slowly being built towards.

Taking to Instagram on Thursday he posted a series of pictures from the last few weeks, writing, “One day at the time…[sun in the clouds and timer emoji].” Palmer, a great friend of Lavia, was quick to respond. “My boy they will know soon [zipped lips emoji].”

Lavia not only put up images of himself recovering with massages and work with the ball at Cobgam, but also from his time at Wembley. The 20-year-old wasn’t able to play during the Carabao Cup final but was present alongside the squad to react from the sideline.

He was on the field after the game in club wear as well. Taking a dejected Enzo Fernandez under his arm whilst Liverpool celebrated their win, Lavia showed the extra part to his game.

Not only is he viewed as a tremendous midfielder, but the Belgian is also a huge character, especially for his age. It is something that many hope will see him return from injury stronger, whilst also having an impact on his new team.

That Fernandez, who captained Chelsea just three days after the final, was able to lay on the assist in the final seconds of an eventual FA Cup win over Leeds at Stamford Bridge, is an answer to some – but not all – of the mentality question thrown Chelsea’s way in the past week. Lavia’s embrace of his more experienced, more expensive, and more high-profile teammate is the very embodiment of how Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital want their side to grow together.

Next step, get them all on the field together.

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