‘Absolute Genius’ – Joe Cole praises brilliant Cole Palmer response to Chelsea penalty row against Everton

‘Absolute Genius’ – Joe Cole praises brilliant Cole Palmer response to Chelsea penalty row against Everton

Chelsea hero Joe Cole has labelled Cole Palmer an ‘absolute genius’ and believes the youngster’s ability to keep his cool after an awkward row over penalty duties against Everton proved he is ‘not a wallflower’.

Palmer is enjoying a magnificent debut season with Chelsea following a £42.5million deadline day move from Manchester City last summer, with the 21-year-old racking up 23 goals in 38 games this term.

Four goals versus Everton on Monday night put Palmer level with Erling Haaland at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts and the attacking midfielder will be itching to add to that tally against a wounded Arsenal next week.

Eyebrows had been raised over the size of the fee paid for Palmer but the Chelsea starlet has emphatically proven his doubters wrong and appears a shoo-in for Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

However, Palmer’s heroics in a thumping 6-0 victory over Everton were somewhat overshadowed by an incident in the second half after referee Paul Tierney awarded Mauricio Pochettino’s side a penalty, with the hosts already holding a four-goal lead.

Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke argued over who should take the spot-kick, before Palmer – Chelsea’s regular penalty taker – grabbed the ball and converted to score his fourth of the evening.

It wasn’t the first time Chelsea’s players have clashed over penalty duties this season and an enraged Pochettino stressed that he would no longer be tolerating such behaviour at his post-match press conference.

‘It’s fantastic he has got that mindset – he is not a wallflower,’ former Chelsea and England winger Cole told PA when asked for his view on the incident.

‘He is a proper player, he will go anywhere on the pitch and take the ball, he backs himself.

‘Sometimes people can look at that with disdain, saying it’s arrogance. It’s not arrogance. We need it and we need more players like that.’

Cole believes Southgate has to take Palmer to Germany to give England the best possible chance of triumphing this summer.

‘He has been sensational and there is an argument he could be Player of the Year – that’s how good he has been. You have to bring a player of that quality,’ he added.

‘The technicians are what are going to win us the tournament. They all have to go and they all have to have time on the pitch.

‘Palmer is a top player. I have watched him play and he is a top, top player. Cole Palmer is an absolute genius.’

Earlier this month, Cole named the ‘outstanding’ Palmer as his ‘signing of the season’ in the Premier League.

‘I can’t see an argument against, for the money Chelsea paid for him and the age he’s at and what he’s done for Chelsea,’ he said on TNT Sports.

‘I shudder to think where Chelsea would be if Cole Palmer hadn’t put pen to paper. He’s been that good, he really has.

‘There have been three or four or five players at the club that I think have done well this year, but he’s been outstanding. He really has.’

 

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