Chelsea capitalise on Man City error as Gary Neville makes Cole Palmer point

Chelsea capitalise on Man City error as Gary Neville makes Cole Palmer point

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville insists Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made a mistake by letting Chelsea sign Cole Palmer in the summer.

The 22-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge for £42.5m at the beginning of the season. Palmer had made it clear he wanted to play regular first-team football this season and was not interested in a loan move away from the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola has a reputation for letting players leave if they wish and continued this pattern allowing Palmer to join Chelsea. Since his switch to the capital, the forward has been on a mission to show his quality and has bagged 26 goals in all competitions with 14 assists to his name too.

In the Monday Night Football end-of-season awards, Neville chose to name Palmer as his Young Player of the Year and admitted that the City manager had made an error of judgement. “When they signed him, I just thought they have so many wide players, and so many players who are in those positions,” he explained.

“They had so much talent and I didn’t think anybody would have thought that the goals and the output coming from him would have been anything like it has. Honestly, massive surprise that he has got to the level he has. What a player.

“You do ask the big question, how can Manchester City have ever let that player go? As many good players they have got, you think they have got [Jeremy] Doku, and Bernardo Silva is not going to go on forever, he would be the perfect replacement for a Bernardo Silva in playing between that midfield and wide player.”

Jamie Carragher argued that it was admirable that Guardiola allowed a player to leave instead of holding on to him for another year to replace Bernardo. But Neville countered that it was short-sighted from the Catalonian. “We have eulogised over Pep Guardiola for years on this programme, you can never criticise him, but you are allowed to say he got one wrong or Manchester City got one wrong,” he concluded.

“If you have known a player who has been at the club since the age of 10, you know his talent, you don’t let one of your own go if they are that good. If they have got it wrong and don’t think he’s that good, hold your hands up and say he’s shocked us and that’s fair enough.

“They have got it wrong in one of two ways. They have not given him a chance and not created a pathway for him, or, they have thought he is not that good.”

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