'He Wanted To Leave' Pep Does Not Regret Selling Cole Palmer To Chelsea

Manchester City v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
Manchester City v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Semi Final / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Cole Palmer has witnessed a dramatic turnaround at Chelsea this year after he equalled Erling Haaland’s tally of 20 goals to lead the Premier League’s offensive stats. Palmer was bought by Chelsea for a hefty check earlier this summer as Manchester City terminated his existing contract to ship him off to the rival club.

Interestingly, Cole Palmer had been a part of City all his life as a professional ball player. He joined the club academy at eight years of age and rose through the ranks to debut in City Colors back in 2020 before scoring his first goal in 2021 against Wycombe Wanderers in the EFL Cup.

However, Man City hardly utilised the attacking midfielder as he made only 19 appearances in four seasons. Yet he was made a part of the treble-winning squad last season.

Eventually, in search of some additional playing time, Cole Palmer sought an exit last summer. Notably, the 21-year-old signed an extension deal with City until 2026 before Chelsea broke him out of it for a whopping £45m transfer fee. 


Cole Palmer has since been a different ball player altogether, stacking up goals consistently in Chelsea colours. After his recent hat trick against Everton, Man City manager Pep Guardiola was questioned if he ever regretted selling Palmer after witnessing his recent resurgence. 

Pep revealed to BBC Sports that he never wanted Palmer to leave in the first place. He pleaded with him to stay when Riyad Mahrez left, citing that he would add Palmer to his plans. However, Pep added that Cole refused to pay heed and, in fact, had been wanting to leave for two seasons now. 

""‘He was asking for two seasons to leave and I said stay. He said he wanted to leave. What could we do? I said stay because Riyad [Mahrez] is gone but for two seasons he wanted to leave.""

Pep said.

The City manager didn’t want to hold Palmer against his will and, therefore, agreed to his transfer to Chelsea. Regardless, Pep endorsed the ex-Cityzen as an exceptional, shy player who always had potential. Perhaps Pep failed to do justice to his talent by not giving him enough minutes he deserved.

While Guardiola is happy to see Cole Palmer thrive in Chelsea, he admitted that at some stage it became nearly impossible to convince Palmer to stay and a lot of factors were considered behind the scenes before reaching a consensus. 

""Playing that level is exceptional. He's an exceptional player. I didn't give the minutes that maybe he deserved and now he has at Chelsea. I understand completely. He's a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is. He's playing fantastic so what can I say, the decision has been made for many reasons.""

Pep further added.


Nevertheless, Man City was able to outclass Cole Palmer-led Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final held last weekend to schedule a derby with Manchester United for the finals of the prestigious cup.

Man City is already out of the treble contest after being knocked out by Real Madrid in the Championship League semis. But a double-title win still remains on the cards.