Will Faulks, Chelsea News
Cole Palmer's move to Chelsea on deadline day had all the hallmarks of a panic buy - or at the very least, a move that had been accelerated by circumstance.
The team's creative hub through pre-season had been Christopher Nkunku, and indeed it felt like the whole squad was being built around him from September 2022 onwards, when it was all but confirmed he would be joining the following summer.
Losing Nkunku to injury, combined with indifferent results to start 2023-24 and some poor performances from our alternative options in the attacking areas, suddenly made going into the season without further offensive additions impossible, and so the deal to sign Palmer was wrapped up quickly.
Things did not change right away - he had to watch from the bench as we lost to Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa and drew with Bournemouth in the weeks after arriving. But since he made his debut from the start in the Carabao Cup against Brighton, things have improved steadily, in no small part thanks to his individual contributions.
Whether used behind the striker or off the right, he has brought creativity and personality to a team that desperately lacks it in other areas. The injuries we had meant he was needed in the team right away and, now players like Reece James are returning to play alongside him, we are starting to see his awesome potential.
His England caps this past week are well deserved, and a place at the Euros next summer now looks guaranteed.
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