Cole Palmer may now wear a different kind of blue most weeks but he is still looked on with pride by staff at the Etihad for the way he came through into Pep Guardiola&aposs first team. And if a move to Chelsea has fast-tracked him into the England team alongside Phil Foden, Rico Lewis has done it without leaving Manchester.
Despite the affection for Palmer from many Blues, his summer departure rankled with many. Guardiola was particularly chippy about his future after his header had helped secure the club&aposs first-ever Super Cup in August – at the same time the manager was suggesting in his press conference that the player wanted to leave the club, the player was in the mixed zone saying that the &aposbest scenario&apos was staying at City but if the club were intent on bringing in more competition he would have to consider his options.
Jeremy Doku was brought in soon after and Palmer left in the final week of the transfer window for 42.5m to join rivals Chelsea. Doku has been excellent, although Palmer&aposs start in West London has been enough not only to earn him an England call but also to leave a question mark over City&aposs decision to sell him.
It may well be that Palmer hurts City in future games to add to his injury-time penalty in the 4-4 draw a few weeks ago, although it is also likely that the Blues will carry on winning lots and lots of matches and trophies without the 21-year-old. If there is one particular disappointment from his departure, it is the missed opportunity to move on from Foden.
Staff in the academy will still proudly hold Palmer up as a great example to youngsters of what can be achieved, but it had been hoped after the player&aposs breakthrough a few years ago that he would become the one to show that it was possible to follow the same path into Guardiola&aposs first team as the generational talent Foden had done.