Man City youngster Cole Palmer shines on England Under-21s debut & how he features in Pep’s plans

The 19-year-old grabbed a goal on his maiden outing for the underage side.

Cole Palmer celebrates scoring. Credit: Getty.Cole Palmer celebrates scoring. Credit: Getty.
Cole Palmer celebrates scoring. Credit: Getty.

Cole Palmer earned the Man of the Match award as he marked his England Under-21s debut on Tuesday night with a goal.

The Manchester City youth product was drafted into the side after Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe was forced to miss the encounter through illness.

The performance earned raved reviews from pundits, while manager Lee Carsley also singled him out for praise after the game.

What did Carsley say?

“It’s a really tough team to get into and, like a lot of players who play for the top six clubs, it’s very difficult to get game time on the level that they have to,” said the former Everton midfielder.

“The thing we can do with England is to support him as much as we can, we rate him highly, he more than deserved his place in the squad.

“The balance is making sure we try to get his minutes and keep supporting him because he’s a real talent.

“I have been around international football a while now and nine times out of 10 you have players in the squad who, if someone drops out, are more than capable of starting. Cole took his chance.”

Is Palmer in Guardiola’s plans?

Yes, he is on the fringes of the City squad at present and started in all of their pre-season friendly games.

Palmer also made his Premier League debut last month and played in the Community Shield.

Speaking to ITV after the game, Guardiola said: “The courage of the young guys Sam [Edozie] and Cole and the control we had - they only had long balls in the second half.

“They are important players. What I like about them, - Cole was exceptional all game - but when they lost one ball, they tried and tried again.

“They were both exceptional on a big stage at Wembley. They were so good. Congratulations to the Academy. They provide me with huge talents.

Palmer in action during the Community Shield. Credit: Getty.Palmer in action during the Community Shield. Credit: Getty.
Palmer in action during the Community Shield. Credit: Getty.

They are working to provide me with good players and we are delighted. In general given the short preparation time we had, all the loan players, all the Academy players have been exceptional."

How did England get on?

The Young Lions beat Kosovo 2-0 in their Euro 2023 qualifier, with Rhian Brewster netting from the spot before Palmer doubled their advantage midway through the first half.

It was England’s first game of the group, which also contains Czech Republic, Slovenia, Albania and Andorra.

Palmer played on the right-hand side of a front three on Tuesday and was replaced in the 72nd minute. The exciting youngster has now represented England at five separate age groups.

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