Cole Palmer breaks silence on his chat with Raheem Sterling before scoring against Man City
Cole Palmer has relived the moments that came before his dramatic, last-gasp penalty equaliser against Manchester City.
And Palmer has revealed how one of the first messages after his ice-cool spot-kick was to inform him of his call-up to the England senior squad. With his Chelsea side trailing deep into added time at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Palmer calmly stroked in the final equaliser in an eight-goal thriller after Ruben Dias had fouled Armando Broja.
The 21-year-old said: “When I saw the ref give it, I thought … ‘it’s my time’. I spoke to Raz (Sterling) and he said ‘whats happening?’ I was like ‘I wanna take it’. He was like ‘fine’. I felt I was waiting for a while, so I did think about my old club and stuff … (but) when I put the ball down, I just picked a spot and tried to put it there.”
Having been at City for 15 years, Palmer’s phone was jammed with messages when he got back to the dressing-room but amongst the congratulations and cursing from his friends was the one that said Gareth Southgate wanted him in the senior squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
“I got the message right after the match,” said Palmer. “My phone was going crazy as I have City fans who are my mates. But then I read it (the call-up message) and read it again. It was confirmed. I rang my dad straight away and he was with my mum so I told them. They were buzzing to be honest. It was a proud moment. We were just all buzzing.”
And the prospect of his first senior cap is a swift reward for his bold decision to leave the treble-winners and Pep Guardiola in September. It was certainly not an easy one for the lad from Wythenshawe, a Manchester suburb and City stronghold.
Reflecting on the agonising, although relatively short, process of making the switch to Stamford Bridge, Palmer said: “It happened fast. I really didn’t know what to do. I was thinking about it for a couple of days, every minute of the day, and then I thought that for my career, I have to go and get regular game time.
“It was a big move for me, I’d never been out of Manchester, not even on loan or anything like that, so to move down there on my own was a big thing. When I first went down there it was difficult, I was staying in a hotel but now I have settled in more.
“You know how good a manager Pep is and he gave me the opportunity and platform to kickstart my career so I’ll always be grateful to him. Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed at City? Maybe I would have played more, maybe not. But I think the decision to go to Chelsea so far is paying off.”