Arsenal

Numbers don’t lie’ – Chelsea star sent Declan Rice message as Premier League decision beckons

Cole Palmer has enjoyed a debut season to remember at Chelsea after joining from Manchester CIty

Cole Palmer has been backed to compete with Manchester City duo Phil Foden and Erling Haaland for the Premier League Player of the Season award.

Palmer was recently revealed to be on the shortlist for the Young Player of the Season accolade, alongside seven other players, and is also in the running for the main prize after an impressive debut season with the Blues.

The former City star has scored 21 goals, a tally bettered only by Haaland, while providing ten assists for his team-mates to ensure he has the joint-most goal contributions (31) in the division with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.

Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea spent an initial £40million fee on the 22-year-old last summer, though he has proven his potential this term and silenced any remaining doubts over his ability to compete at the highest level.

Foden is the favourite to come out on top for the PFA Player of the Year voting, followed closely behind by Rodri and Declan Rice, and ex-Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Palmer has thrust himself firmly into contention as a result of his performances.

“He’s in the conversation [for Player of the Year],” Hargreaves told Premier League Productions. “He’s put himself in the category of a Declan Rice. The numbers don’t lie.”

recently after being ruled out of last month’s derby defeat at Arsenal due to a cold.

Asking his players to step up in the absence of the Wythenshawe-star, Pochettino remarked: “It is a good challenge in case Palmer is not available. It’s a good challenge for the teammates. If I am a teammate of Cole Palmer in his position or a similar position, I am going to be motivated to go there tomorrow and show this is Chelsea Football Club, not Cole Palmer Football Club.”

This message failed to have its intended impact, however, as the Blues slumped to a humbling 5-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium, offering a clear reminder of Palmer’s presence.

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