Pochettino: Palmer has nothing to prove against Man City

Cole Palmer is not worried about proving a point to Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino has insisted.

The 21-year-old has a chance to help knock his former club out of the FA Cup and guide Chelsea to another Wembley final when the Blues face City in Saturday’s semi-final.

Palmer joined Chelsea last summer and has previously said that City boss Pep Guardiola refused to grant him a loan move in order to pick up more first-team experience – leading to his eventual departure.

Chelsea boss Pochettino, however, believes Palmer has moved on.

“He has already played against them twice, he is very grateful to Manchester City and Pep Guardiola as a former coach,” Pochettino said.

“He is not the type of player that has something like that inside of him. He wanted to prove himself at another club and is thankful for the opportunity to move to another club. He always talks very highly about Manchester City and Pep.”

Palmer has been Chelsea’s standout player this season – and scored four goals on Monday to go level with Erling Haaland as the Premier League’s top scorer – but Pochettino says he still has room for improvement.

“We never judge a player when we sign them. We sign players believing that they can perform and he is performing in a very big way,” Pochettino said.

“This is his first consistent season playing and we need to be careful. He’s young, he needs to evolve his game in different areas. But of course, he’s performing beyond expectation, far away from what we expected at the beginning.”