Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal – Review
Chelsea look to have benefitted from another risky Manchester City transfer decision. The Blues forked out £45million to acquire the services of Cole Palmer over the summer, and the playmaker has hit the ground running at his new club.
The Blues came close to recording a statement victory by beating Arsenal on Saturday evening, throwing away a 2-0 lead late on and being forced to settle for a point at Stamford Bridge. Mauricio Pochettino’s side nullified the Gunners’ attack and created several big chances of their own before individual errors – namely by goalkeeper Robert Sanchez – proved costly.
Palmer opened the scoring for Chelsea from the penalty spot, blocking out a minor disagreement with teammate Raheem Sterling over who would step up and convert. The England Under-21s international was also instrumental in the Blues’ other attacking play, drifting in off of the right-wing to influence play centrally.
The 21-year-old has quickly become a key player for Pochettino and is growing in responsibility within the squad, leading by example both on and off the pitch. Chelsea will hope that the versatile forward’s progress continues over the coming years and they are rewarded for their bold strategy of signing from a rival.
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Transfer business is rarely conducted between two Big Six clubs given that they are competing for the same trophies, and eyebrows were raised when City were prepared to facilitate Palmer’s exit given that he appeared to have a big future at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal have led by example in signing players from direct rivals and may have laid out a clear blueprint for Chelsea to replicate over the summer. Mikel Arteta’s side lured both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko away from City in 2022, and both players have made a significant impact at the Emirates Stadium.
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The duo have raised the standards of the squad in North London, leaning on their experience of working in such a competitive, winning environment under Pep Guardiola. As a result, other Arsenal players have stepped up to the mark and last year’s spending spree has made a widespread impact.
Pochettino will be hoping that the arrival of Palmer has a similar effect on his Chelsea squad given that the majority of his players are young and influenceable, with the club’s recruitment over the past 12 months being focused on signing players that will improve over the coming years.
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