Palmer eyes England as Chelsea move 'pays off'


Cole Palmer of England passes the ball during the UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023 final match between England and Spain at Batumi Arena on July 08, 2023 in Batumi, Georgia.

Cole Palmer says his £42.5m summer transfer to Chelsea from Manchester City is "paying off" as he eyes his senior England debut.

The 21-year-old forward has scored four goals and registered four assists in 14 appearances since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

He was called up to the England squad on Monday after injuries to James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk.

Palmer said he left Treble winners City in search of first-team football.

"It happened fast, to be fair. I spoke to someone at Chelsea and I was speaking to my dad but I really didn't know what to do," Palmer said.

"I was just thinking about it for a couple of days, near enough every minute of the day. I just wanted regular game time."

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has said Palmer has shown "character and personality" to move to London, and the forward said Pochettino was a big reason for him deciding to leave the club where he had been since he was six years old.

"I spoke to him before I went once. It was a good phone call so I decided to go there," said Palmer.

"A lot of people told me what he was like with young players. Ever since I went to Chelsea I can see it. I'm enjoying working with him and excited to keep working with him.

"It was a big move for me. I've never been out of Manchester. Not even been on loan. To be there on my own was a big thing. When I first went there it was difficult. Now that I've settled in more I'm enjoying it."

The thrilling 4-4 draw between Chelsea and Manchester City, when Palmer scored the 95th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot, was the first time he had seen his former boss Pep Guardiola since leaving.

"You know how good of a manager Pep is. He gave me the opportunity and platform to kick-start my career. I'll always be grateful to him," said Palmer.

"Who knows what would have happened if I'd stayed? Maybe I would have played more, maybe not. The decision to move to Chelsea is so far paying off."

Palmer, who played with Raheem Sterling at Manchester City and has reunited with him at Stamford Bridge, received the England call-up ahead of his team-mate who has been left out of a fifth consecutive international squad.

"He's a great player - he's been brilliant this season for us. I have known him for a while and we have natural chemistry," said Palmer.

"I wasn't even thinking of an England call-up when I first went to Chelsea. I just wanted more games. It was more of an opportunity to prove it."

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