Pep Guardiola makes transfer admission on Cole Palmer’s Man City exit to Chelsea

Palmer scored in the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup final before opting to leave City for 42.5m on deadline day, to join Chelsea. He has started the season with three goals and four assists in ten appearances for his new club, showing to an extent what City have missed out on.

Also in form this season is former City man Raheem Sterling, who left the Etihad last summer, and Guardiola believes his old number seven is performing back to his best.

Starting by praising academy graduate Rico Lewis, Guardiola stressed the importance of keeping home-grown City players in the first team.

“If he [Lewis] was a little bit taller, we would consider him one of the best players in the Premier League,” Guardiola said. “He is so small but he is an exceptional player and his contributions since he arrived and settled with us last season, every game he has played has been to a high standard. We are really really pleased when academy players can be a regular player here.”

So with Palmer allowed to leave as he felt he couldn&apost get the opportunity to become a regular player at City, Guardiola agreed when it was put to him that the winger&aposs exit was a shame.

“Yeah [it&aposs a shame], congratulations for Chelsea,” the manager said. “We&aposre really pleased [for him]. He wanted game time and he has it, so congratulations. He&aposs a guy who came from the academy. If he is having success, it&aposs good for him and we wish him the best.”

On Sterling, Guardiola was asked whether the forward&aposs exile from England squads is a surprise, and while he didn&apost comment specifically on that situation, he did point out that Sterling is playing near his peak for City.

“He&aposs playing really good, back in his best moments from what I&aposve seen lately,” Guardiola said. “He always creates incredible dynamics, what he did for many years for us and part of the big successes we had.”

The transfer window has been a hectic one and City have been busy, with high-profile signings and sales aplenty.

City snapped up Croatian pair Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol from Chelsea and RB Leipzig respectively with the latest addition being Jeremy Doku. Wolves&apos Matheus Nunes then joined the Blues on deadline day. In terms of outgoings, Treble winner Ilkay Gundogan departed for Barcelona, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez moved to Saudi Arabia, and Cole Palmer completed a shock move to Chelsea.

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