Manchester City wonderkid with “special quality” could be handed another chance to stake a first team claim by Pep Guardiola in the Carabao Cup clash with West Ham
A host of City’s fringe players and promising starlets will be champing at the bit for a chance to leave an impression on the Spaniard away from the Premier League title race.
One promising star who should get a crack at proving a point to Guardiola is midfielder Cole Palmer.
The Blues academy graduate skyrocketed to prominence after netting in City’s 5-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League earlier this month.
Palmer, who made headlines after playing in two games on the same day earlier this month, is the latest attacking midfielder to roll off the Etihad conveyor belt of talent.
Despite making just a handful of senior appearances, Palmer has already made a big impression on Guardiola and City fans.
Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
And the timing of Palmer’s emergence as the latest bright young star to emerge in Manchester feels particularly apt right now considering the recent rise of Phil Foden.
Foden has quietly evolved into one of Guardiola’s most important players over the past 12 months.
The Spaniard has nurtured the Stockport-born ace throughout his tenure, utilising Foden fleetingly before fully unleashing the youngster over the past year or so.
It’s an approach that has helped the 21-year-old come of age – and now he can act as the perfect blueprint for Palmer.
The 19-year-old took his maiden Champions League goal against Brugge like a seasoned pro and he should get another chance to impress Guardiola against the Hammers.
Palmer was handed a brief cameo role during City’s win at Wycombe in the last round, although Ferran Torres was fit at the time.
But Guardiola has form for blooding youngsters in a competition that City have absolutely dominated since the Spaniard’s arrival in England.
City have won the League Cup for the last four years, and Guardiola has spoken previously about his fondness of the competition.
With that in mind, it’s unlikely the City chief will replicate Manchester United’s attitude when they were shocked by the Hammers in the third round last month after making 10 changes.
It feels a fair assumption, though, that Palmer will be afforded an opportunity to showcase his
“Cole has a special quality in front of the box, a talent that is difficult to find. When he has the ball there, most of the time it ends up in the net. It’s difficult to find that,” said City head coach Guardiola.
“I know how it works with young players. We have to be calm and patient. His position is the second team but at the same time he trains with us and works with our principles.
“I am happy with the goal. He could have done a few actions a little bit better, but that is normal. It is experience.
“People in this world want things immediately and everything needs time. You cannot cook a good dish if you don’t spend time in the kitchen. Take time.”
Guardiola’s patient, measured approach has paid dividends for Foden, who is now eclipsing a host of mega-money City stars.
It already looks like Palmer is profiting from a similar approach – and he can prove it by cooking up another special display against West Ham.