Roberto De Zerbi breaks silence on how Brighton move for Chelsea superstar failed

Roberto De Zerbi breaks silence on how Brighton move for Chelsea superstar failed

Roberto De Zerbi says Brighton tried to sign Cole Palmer from Manchester City last summer, but were beaten to him by Chelsea, where he has quickly become a superstar.

Palmer has been the breakout star of the Premier League season, scoring 21 league goals in his first season with the Blues and 24 in all competitions.

The 22-year-old had very little first team experience before making his £40m move from the Etihad to Stamford Bridge, but he has rapidly proved that he is ready and capable of playing at the elite level.

He has proved to be a brilliant signing for Chelsea but a disappointment for Brighton as they were keen on the England international last year too.

De Zerbi confirmed that the Seagulls wanted to sign Palmer before the start of the season, recognising his great potential, but Chelsea got there first.

‘We tried to bring him last summer,’ the Italian said of Palmer. ‘We thought he could be a top player. The qualities of Palmer are clear. This season he is playing very well, scoring a lot of goals.’

De Zerbi’s team hosts Palmer’s on Wednesday night in the Premier League, with Chelsea on a three-match winning streak and the Italian expecting a tough challenge.

‘They are playing very well, they deserve to be fighting for a European position,’ he said.

Brighton have not been in such good form themselves, with just two wins in their last 10 Premier League games but De Zerbi is insistent that his players go out on a high this season.

‘It’s important because after Sunday we go on holiday and when we’re on holiday if we have no points [from the last two games] it will be a problem for me,’ he said. ‘I want us to finish in the top 10.’

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