Guardiola will ‘regret’ cataclysmic Man City transfer blunder for ‘incredible’ Player of the Year contender

Pep Guardiola has been told he has made a big transfer mistake at Man City

Pep Guardiola has been told he has made a big transfer mistake at Man City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been told he will already be fiercly regretting his decision to sell Cole Palmer to Chelsea and has blundered badly in allowing the “unbelievable” playmaker to move on the cheap, with the player seen as a genuine contender to win the Player of the Year award.

The Wythenshawe-born forward joined Manchester City as an eight-year-old and progressed through their academy to become a first-teamer, making his senior debut in a September 2020 Carabao Cup tie against Burnley.

However, with City boasting a vast array of attacking midfield and wing options, Palmer found chances hard to come by at the Etihad, only making a total of 41 appearances across his three-year stint in the first team.

He did, though, show promise of his rich talents in the 2022/23 season when he featured in a total of 25 games.

Palmer, though, wanted more and, with Guardiola unable to guarantee the 21-year-old the playing time he craved, told the City boss he wanted to leave after a big-money approach from Chelsea came in for his services.

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Guardiola tried to resist such the offer, but with Palmer insistent, together with Chelsea making clear they were willing to meet City’s £40m asking price, the England U21 European Championships winner, moved to Stamford Bridge on September 1, 2023, signing a bumper seven-year deal in the process.

Palmer, though has quickly established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League this season, playing a part so far in 38 goals in all competitions (25 goals, 13 assists) and earning a nomination as one of the contenders to win the PFA Player of the Year.

That honour is expected to be won by his close friend and former Man City teammate, Phil Foden, though Palmer is being backed by many to run him close.

Cole Palmer: Guardiola will regret his move to Chelsea

Guardiola was recently asked about his decision to let Palmer leave after his barnstorming season and in the wake of Mauricio Pochettino even labelling his own side ‘the Cole Palmer team’.

And while he insists he had no regrets, pundit and commentator Ally McCoist has told talkSPORT that secretly Guardiola may well be cursing himself now.

“Cole Palmer has been absolutely incredible this season,” McCoist said. “Pep Guardiola is never going to admit that he regrets letting him go – he’ll quite rightly say that he’s happy for him and always knew he had that potential. And I genuinely think Pep and City will be delighted for him – but they’ll be sitting there thinking ‘what if?’”

McCoist feels Palmer is the bargain of the season and a genuine contender to be named Player of the Year.

“If someone had told me 20 years ago that I’d be saying Cole Palmer for £40m was a bargain, I’d have locked them up and thrown away the key!

“But that is the way it looks at the moment because he has had an unbelievable season. He is in the running for Player of the Year in a Chelsea team that probably won’t finish in the top six – just think about that! It is incredible!”

Of his decision to make the move south to Stamford Bridge, McCoist added: “I have huge admiration for him because it would have been so easy just to stay at City, play 15 games a season and pick up a load of trophies.

“He said no, he took on the challenge of going to Chelsea and I’m delighted by the way it has turned out for him.”

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Palmer is currently just one goal behind Erling Haaland at the top of the Golden Boot race and McCoist was not so full of praise for the Norwegian forward, suggesting that City are ‘not getting enough out of him’.

“The Erling Haaland situation is a funny one but to put it simply, Manchester City are not getting enough out of him right now,” said McCoist.

“He is the type of striker where if he isn’t scoring then he doesn’t contribute an awful lot to the game. On the other hand, when he is on scoring form he’s the best in the business and that’s why he plays for Manchester City.

“I fully expect him to turn the corner and start banging in a few more goals before the end of the season, especially after his goal off the bench against Nottingham Forest.”

But McCoist added: “City need to get more out of him, but for me he is still the best in the business and that is why I think they will get more out of him. I think he’ll be properly back in the goals soon enough.”

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