Chelsea star Cole Palmer has been warned about the defensive side of his game by former Tottenham and Man Utd ace Garth Crooks. Palmer scored twice to lead the Blues to a 3-2 victory over Luton on Saturday.
The 21-year-old has been Mauricio Pochettino’s best player since joining from Manchester City in the summer. Crooks named the attacker in his team of the week but warned that other Chelsea players may soon turn on him.
“Chelsea recovered from a poor performance against Wolves with a win over Crystal Palace and then went to Kenilworth Road a few days later to beat a stubborn Luton Town side,” Crooks wrote in his BBC column.
“That said, Chelsea made very hard work of this victory having been 3-0 up against the Hatters before conceding two goals late in the game with some amateur defending. The disapproving shaking of the head by Thiago Silva at the end of the match said it all.
“The only bright spark for the visitors was Palmer, whose two goals were taken quite brilliantly. But the English midfielder needs to watch himself. Ducking out of headers on defensive set plays doesn’t endear yourself to your team-mates, neither does suddenly losing touch with the game having scored two goals when really he should have been searching for his hat-trick.”
However, Pochettino had nothing but praise for his match-winner and compared him to World Cup winner Angel Di Maria.
“In the position that he [Palmer] plays, and because he’s a left-footer and because he has some similarities and the quality, he’s a potential Angel Di Maria,” Pochettino told TNT Sports.
“Angel is a world champion [with Argentina], he was in Paris with us, and is an amazing player.
“He [Palmer] has the capacity and the potential to be close to him, with time. He’s still far away, but this type of player that can link, can be a playmaker, have the capacity to score, assist, it’s this type of player like Angel.
“Always you expect when you sign a player, you expect that they perform in the best way. But of course he’s performing really well from Day 1, he’s adapted very well to the club, to the teammates, to Chelsea life, and yes it’s amazing, because always you expect the player can perform well, but he’s doing excellent.”