'I said many times' - Pep Guardiola makes Cole Palmer Man City admission after Chelsea transfer

Chelsea attacker Cole Palmer with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City
Cole Palmer opted to leave Chelsea instead of taking backup minutes at Manchester City -Credit:LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he had previously stood in the way of Cole Palmer leaving the club but was powerless to stop him from joining Chelsea as he searched for more game time.

Palmer completed a move from City to Stamford Bridge for a fee of £42.5 million in the summer, and he has gone from strength to strength. The 21-year-old scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season in Monday night’s 6-0 win over Everton, a game where he scored four times.

In fact, in his last six games in all competitions, the midfielder has scored 11 goals. The four-goal haul against the Toffees moved him level with former teammate Erling Haaland in the race for the golden boot at the end of the season.

Palmer will come up against his former side at Wembley Stadium on Saturday when Chelsea take on Man City in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Ahead of that game, Guardiola has reflected on the player’s move away from the Etihad Stadium and admitted that he probably should have had more game time.

"He's an exceptional player,” he said. “I said many times, I didn't give him the minutes that maybe he deserved, and now he has at Chelsea.

“I understand completely. He's a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is.

READ MORE: Pep Guardiola's four-word Man City confession proves Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea claim right

READ MORE: Chelsea drop fresh cash injection hint after clear Premier League FFP statement sent

“He was asking for two seasons to leave and I said stay. He said he wanted to leave. What could we do?"

Palmer came up through the youth teams at City and made his first team debut in 2020, playing against Burnley in the Carabao Cup fourth round. He went on to play a further 40 times for City, scoring six times, including opening the scoring in the Community Shield against Arsenal back in August.