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Mauricio Pochettino has me a better player, says Chelsea midfielder Cole Palmer

By BBC
Football News Cole Palmer has scored 12 times in 31 appearances since joining Chelsea last summer
MAR 1, 2024 LISTEN
Cole Palmer has scored 12 times in 31 appearances since joining Chelsea last summer

Chelsea midfielder Cole Palmer says manager Mauricio Pochettino has made him a better player since leaving Manchester City.

Palmer, 21, has scored 12 times for the Blues since his move from City for an initial £40m last summer.

The midfielder made 41 senior appearances for City under Pep Guardiola, 25 of them as part of last season's Treble-winning squad.

Palmer told BBC Sport that Pochettino was a "top manager and a top person".

Speaking to Football Focus, Palmer said: "He speaks to you about anything, like family issues. I think if he knows what's going on off the pitch, it can affect how he is with you on the pitch. He's really great at that."

Just seven of his 25 appearances last season at City, whom he joined at under-8s level, were from the start of matches.

Under Pochettino, Palmer has been one of the stand-out players in a youthful Chelsea side still adjusting to major overhauls on and off the pitch. He is the Blues' top scorer with 12 goals in 31 appearances so far this season.

He started Sunday's Carabao Cup final defeat by Liverpool. On Saturday, 11th-placed Chelsea travel to Brentford in the Premier League (15:00 GMT).

On Thursday, Palmer was named Men's Young Player of the Year at the 2024 London Football Awards.

Asked if Pochettino has made him a better player, Palmer said "yeah", adding: "He's given me the freedom to play my stuff and I like it when he frees you because I feel I can express my stuff more.

"I'm loving it. Every day he's talking to you about different things, not just football things but life things as well. He's good at making you feel good and trying to get the best out of you."

Palmer also gave credit to the coaching qualities of Guardiola at former club City, who have won three straight Premier League titles as well as last season's Champions League and FA Cup.

"What I learnt at City, I wouldn't be able to learn anywhere else with the manager and the players that were there, one of the best in the world," said Palmer.

"Then I felt I was ready to play and I thought I might as well just go for it [joining Chelsea]. I just felt like I was ready to play football week in, week out."

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