Football News

Mauricio Pochettino makes ‘impossible’ Cole Palmer claim after hat-trick in Chelsea win

By CJ Smith

Published: 17:32, 5 April 2024

Mauricio Pochettino believes it’s now ‘impossible’ for anyone to deny that Cole Palmer is a ‘top player’ following his hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-3 win over Manchester United.

The Blues were 3-2 down with nine minutes of second-half stoppage time already played on Thursday but found themselves level with Palmer’s second converted penalty of the match. But the drama wasn’t done there as Palmer fired home the winner just a minute later, sparking incredible scenes of celebration at Stamford Bridge, which played witness to the latest winning goal in Premier League history.

In his last four matches alone across all competitions, Palmer has hit seven goals and two assists, inspiring the Blues to seven points in the Premier League and progression to the FA Cup semi-finals.

“One of the best skills is his mentality and his capacity to deal with the pressure,” Pochettino said of Palmer after Thursday’s match. “He’s young and I think it’s his first season playing very consistently. I think it’s amazing how he is dealing with the pressure. That is all that can be a very good player. With the performance today, it’s impossible to say that he’s not a top player.”

Palmer’s hat-trick against his boyhood club extended his tally in the Premier League this season to 16 goals in 26 matches, with only Erling Haaland (18) managing more. That form has already earned him his first two senior caps for England, with many now firmly backing him to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the European Championships.

“The impact is amazing. He is doing a fantastic job, it is difficult to talk more about him. Today he showed the mentality and the quality,” Pochettino added. “I said ‘Cole, two minutes more and to believe’.”

Given his record from the spot, Palmer might well be a vital addition to Southgate’s squad this summer. The 21-year-old has now taken eight penalties in the Premier League season and hit the net with each of them, with only Yaya Toure (11) and Dimitar Berbatov (9) boasting a better single-season record.

“I had a few penalties this season. I’m just going to continue to try to score them,” said Palmer. “If I get penalties, I’m going to try to score, I’m not going to try to miss.”