Premier League • England

John Obi Mikel names Chelsea star now a ‘different player’ with ‘arrogance’ that ‘transfers’ from Pochettino

Cole Palmer Chelsea 2023 TEAMtalk1

John Obi Mikel feels Cole Palmer is now a different player to when he was at Manchester City and has benefitted from working under Mauricio Pochettino.

Palmer, 21, moved from the Etihad to Stamford Bridge in the summer when Chelsea paid in the region of £40m for his services. Questions were raised about the size of the fee for a player with limited experience and only 19 top-flight appearances. But Palmer has enjoyed a seamless transition to west London, usurping many of the big-name stars at the club.

The Manchester-born forward has already bagged four Premier League goals with two assists and looks a certain starter on current form.

That is all a far cry from his time at City when he struggled for game time and made just two league starts.

The England man’s career seemed to be stalling at the Etihad. And Mikel feels Pochettino has unlocked the potential that was always there within the talented youngster.

“What he does with young players is absolutely fantastic. Look what he’s doing with Palmer now,” he told CNN.

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“He’s come from Manchester City. He didn’t play as many games as he wanted. He’s come to Chelsea and he’s performing really well. It’s like a different player.”

Mikel likes what he sees in Palmer

Chelsea’s decision to spend vast sums of money has yet to reap the intended rewards.

The Blues sit 11th in the top-flight standings having won just four games this season.

Their hopes of challenging for the title have long since evaporated while it would take a remarkable turnaround to finish in the top four.

The players have yet to gel although there were signs of an improvement prior to the 4-1 loss at Newcastle United.

Palmer has been the exception, with the youngster earning plaudits across the football media.

And Gareth Southgate handed him his Three Lions debut against Malta on November 17.

The sky seems the limit for Palmer and Mikel now sees confidence oozing out of the starlet after the Pochettino treatment.

“He’s creating chances, scoring goals and also the confidence that he has, the arrogance that he has now. And I think that transfers from the manager,” he added.

“The manager’s probably given him that and said: ‘Go out there, be who you are and perform the way you want to perform.’ And that freedom has just given him that.

“He expresses himself, a little bit of arrogance, a little bit of cheekiness here and there. That’s what we want, that’s what we need and the performances will come with that.”

Games are now coming thick and fast for Chelsea as they welcome Brighton to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

A trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United follows before they take on Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, December 10.

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