Premier League • England

Chelsea told surprise £40m summer signing is player Kai Havertz should have been

Cole Palmer Chelsea

Cole Palmer has made a bright start to life at Chelsea

Former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy believes Cole Palmer is the player Chelsea thought they had when they splashed out on Kai Havertz back in 2020.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who joined in a surprising £40million deal from Manchester City late into the summer transfer window, was on target in a 4-1 Chelsea win at Burnley on Saturday.

Palmer also marked his third start for Chelsea with an assist, while his goal came from the penalty spot.

Christopher Nkunku’s injury left Mauricio Pochettino’s men in somewhat of a hole, but Palmer has filled that perfectly.

The former City man has only made six appearances for the club so far but has already proved to be a significant upgrade on Kai Havertz, who swapped London clubs when he joined Arsenal for £65m in late June.

And Cundy, speaking on talkSPORT’s Game Day Phone-In show, said: “Cole Palmer is turning out to be the player that we hoped Kai Havertz would be.

“He’s in a slightly different position, but he’s the player that we hoped Havertz would turn into and he looks like a class act.

“We’ve not played badly this season. The performances have not got us the results that I think we’ve deserved but today we were ruthless.”

Later on the same station, former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara also took a swipe at the Gunners flop. He added: “Cole Palmer is an upgrade on Havertz, isn’t he? Massively.”

Havertz taking time to settle at Arsenal

Since moving to The Emirates, Havertz has scored just once in 11 appearances while also providing no assists.

In fact, the German’s first goal for Arsenal came against Bournemouth last weekend after he was gifted the chance to take a penalty by Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka.

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Mikel Arteta revealed Odegaard and Saka took it upon themselves to offer Havertz the spot-kick.

The Spaniard boss said: “I’m really happy for the win, but I’m even happier to be part of a team that shows the human qualities that they did today.

“Without me telling them nothing, to show that empathy to a player that has some question marks to resolve externally, they warmed me even more today. They’ve done it in a really natural way.

“I’m delighted they made that decision. And so thankful as well to our supporters for the way they sung his name and made him feel today. If there’s a player who deserves that it’s Kai Havertz so so happy for him.”

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