Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomePremier LeagueGuardiola says Man City could not stop Palmer exit

Guardiola says Man City could not stop Palmer exit

Pep Guardiola has said Manchester City could not stop Cole Palmer leaving the club amid the forward’s desire for an exit.

Palmer signed for Chelsea in the summer after becoming frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities at the Etihad, with the 21-year-old featuring for just 359 minutes in the Premier League last season.

 

He has had an extraordinary impact since arriving in west London and is the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League this season, level with former teammate Erling Haaland, on 20 goals.

Palmer has broken into the England squad as a result and is expected to form part of the squad that travels to Euro 2024 in the summer.

His recent form, which includes back-to-back hat-tricks at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United and Everton, has seen Palmer move into contention for the Player of the Season awards.

Manchester City will come up against their academy graduate this weekend, when the Citizens take on Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals. Ahead of the clash at Wembley, Guardiola discussed Palmer’s impact at Chelsea and said his side could not stand in the player’s way as he pushed for an exit.

“He’s an exceptional player, we knew when he was here. I’ve said many times, I didn’t give the minutes that maybe he deserved and now he has at Chelsea. I understand completely,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.

 

“He’s a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is. He’s playing fantastically well.

“But he was asking for two seasons to leave. I said ‘no, stay’. But he still said ‘no, I want to leave’. What could we do? I said stay because Riyad [Mahrez] has gone but for two seasons he wanted to leave.”

Guardiola discussed his team’s determination to bounce back this weekend after exiting the Champions League, on penalties, to Real Madrid in midweek.

“We don’t have an option, we don’t want to feel sorry for ourselves. We performed at our best but were not able to win.

“We don’t have time to reflect, we’ll do that in the summertime. In football you compete to win, but sometimes you lose games, and that’s what happened.”

Read – Five of the best FA Cup semi-finals of modern times

See more – Six talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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