Former Chelsea player Glen Johnson is keeping involved in football since his retirement by giving regular interviews and speaking about Premier League sides, especially Chelsea.
This week he has been speaking about Cole Palmer at Chelsea, and Johnson has been super impressed, like all of us have been.
“Cole Palmer has been doing great,” Johnson said.
“He’s obviously got a great mentality stepping up for penalties and performing against his old team.
“He looks calm on the ball, looks like he’s enjoying his football and it’s good to see, I think he’s the real deal.”
However, Johnson questions the position of Palmer playing wide on the right, which is where he has mainly been used by Mauricio Pochettino so far.
“I prefer to see him in the middle, behind the striker,” Johnson continued.
“At the moment, I don’t think he’s quick or strong enough to be isolated one on one with defenders and is best receiving it on the half turn and being clever with his passes into strikers.
“He’s the sort of player strikers love to play with, but I don’t think that he’s the kind of player a full-back hates to play against one on one on.
“He’s intelligent and can play through the lines in the middle, and that’s where he should be used by Chelsea.”
I actually mainly agree with this, and it’s something I have mentioned a few times on here of late.
Palmer has been doing well on the right for us in my view, but he always looks much more comfortable, more effective, and generally better when playing centrally.
The only thing I disagree with is the comment about a lack of strength. I think Palmer has actually proven that he does have pretty good strength on the ball and can often hold a man off.
But I do agree with the rest. Palmer isn’t a winger who is going to blaze down to the by-line beating players with pace.
Interestingly for England last week he was used on the left and instead of using pace to beat a man and get down the line, he used skill and intelligence. But that for me is just another reason why he would be better playing centrally, because he could use that same skill and intelligence in there.
Getting into those pockets in the half spaces is where he would thrive the most in my view.
I think he will largely be used on the right for us though, especially now Christopher Nkunku is back. And I don’t think it’s ideal.
Listen, Palmer is quality, and he’s that good he can play anywhere on the pitch and do a good job. But I’m all for getting the very best out of every single player and I think if we want to do that consistently with Palmer then he has to be playing centrally – I just don’t think he will be.