Hosts clash over Palmer on Mail Sport's It's All Kicking Off podcast

Pep Guardiola was WRONG to sell Cole Palmer to Chelsea, says Dominic King after the £42.5m winger scored against Arsenal… but Chris Sutton says you can’t doubt the City boss’ judgement as hosts clash on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off

  • Cole Palmer left his boyhood club Man City to join Chelsea this summer
  • Mail Sport’s Dominic King thinks Pep Guardiola was wrong to let him go
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’

Mail Sport’s Dominic King believes Pep Guardiola made a mistake in allowing Cole Palmer to leave Manchester City this summer.

Palmer departed his boyhood club to join Chelsea in a deal worth £42.5m and has made a fast start at Stamford Bridge.

The 21-year-old has netted in his last two appearances for the Blues, and opened the scoring from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal as he impressed once more.

After hitting the ground running in west London, King admits he is struggling to see why Guardiola was so happy to let him go, and feels Palmer should have been given more of a chance after flourishing in recent months at club and international level. 

Speaking on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast, King said: ‘For the life of me, I cannot understand why Manchester City sold him in the summer.

Pep Guardiola allowed Cole Palmer to leave Manchester City to join Chelsea this summer

Palmer scored his second goal in as many games for Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday

Mail Sport’s Dominic King believes it was a mistake for City to let the academy talent move on

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‘I thought it was a huge moment given everything he’d done with England Under-21s in the summer, how he played in the European Super Cup, the talk that’s been around him for a number of years in terms of through the academy and what-not. 

‘I’m not comparing him to (Phil) Foden but I just think it’s important in this day and age for clubs if they’ve got somebody, a local lad who is clearly of Premier League class, to give them every opportunity to succeed at their home team.’

Co-host Chris Sutton sees things differently, though, countering that Guardiola must have had a good reason to let him leave, while also insisting the Spaniard cannot be questioned given everything he has achieved in the game.  

‘From what I’ve seen of him, and what I saw of him at Manchester City, I get what you’re saying. But then you’re sorting of questioning Pep’s decision-making there, aren’t you?, Sutton responded.

‘He must be deficient with something in Pep’s mind. Whether it’s fitting into the style of play, whatever it is. But on the face of things, I do understand what you’re saying.’ 

Reacting to King’s statement on homegrown players deserving more chances, Sutton added: ‘He’s got to be good enough. And while he’s a talented player, how can we sit here at this moment in time questioning Pep Guardiola? Champions League winner last season, won the Premier League for the last three seasons, whatever it is.

‘He doesn’t get a lot wrong. So maybe, should we wait a bit longer before we cast judgement?’

King conceded that Guardiola’s track record is firmly in his favour when it comes to making calls on individual players, but thinks it is a shame that Palmer moved on given how Guardiola constantly gets the very best out of his players. 

‘Something that I would like to say about Guardiola is, the level that he can improve a player is extraordinary,’ King said.

‘I remember going to Bayern Munich once and was waiting to do an interview, me and Jamie Carragher were there, this is going back 10 years now. Pep had just gone to Bayern and he’d done a session with the first-team and things were being put away.

‘And at the far end of Sabener Strasse there were four Under-18 lads just having a kickaround and whatever. Pep’s walking back to the main hub and he catches the four lads over his shoulder. And he looks, and then he looks again, and something’s clearly irked him. 

Chris Sutton disagrees with King, and believes Guardiola’s judgement on players cannot be questioned

King is surprised Guardiola didn’t stick with Palmer and try to improve him like he did with Phil Foden

‘These lads were just having a mess around, and he got them into position and went through this drill with them and wanted to get the very best out of them. Even in this tiny situation, I thought it was an amazing insight into his character, the pursuit of perfection. 

‘Clearly, Cole Palmer has got talent, and I wonder why he didn’t want to pursue the opportunity to make him better like he did with Phil Foden.’

Sutton feels more time is needed before forming an opinion on Palmer leaving City, but it is not long now until the England youngster will get the chance to make a statement against his former employers.

Palmer will face City at Stamford Bridge on November 12, as he prepares to take on his old club for the first time. 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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