Home » Sport » Cole Palmer: position and style of play – The Coaches’ Voice

Cole Palmer: position and style of play – The Coaches’ Voice


Chelsea, 2023-Present

Chelsea signed Cole Palmer from Manchester City as part of the restructuring undertaken by Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge, with the potential also to be a transfer that benefits the English team. And the Argentine coach has a great track record in developing young English talents, with numerous international debutants who have played under the Argentine coach. Palmer’s name has now been added to that long list after making his debut for England against Malta, following his outstanding performances with his new club.

At club level, Palmer took his first steps in Manchester. He joined City when he was eight years old, to reach the top: he participated in the club’s treble citizen in 2023. However, at the age of 21 he longed to play more regularly in the first team. In three seasons with City, he started just three times in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola. In his first three months at Chelsea, he more than doubled that statistic.

Palmer, who scored for City in the Community Shield, the traditional opener of the English season, soon returned to the fray against his former club, scoring Chelsea’s equalizer in added time against the defending champions. Premier in an exciting league match that ended 4-4. Below our expert coaches analyze Palmer’s playing style and positions.

video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">

Technical analysis

Palmer is a left-footed attacker with high positional versatility, as he can play on the wing, as part of a front three, or in the playmaker position. In any of these positions, he has a remarkable ability to penetrate the rival defense with his passes, especially through successful deliveries oriented to the advantage of his teammate’s career.

At Chelsea he has demonstrated this ability to facilitate opportunities for players who enter the race on the opposite wing, thus breaking the rival defensive block. He is especially effective positioning himself in the right corridor, where he can send balls with spin inside. These deliveries are ideal for second line players who start through the inside left corridor (below).

Palmer’s deep balls at ground level are also of great quality. He can often take opposing central defenders by surprise by sending those first-touch passes. Especially when he looks to attack the space between the centre-backs, or between the full-back and the centre-back. To make these one-touch passes, his perception of the ball while his team is in possession – evaluating the spaces, the movements of his teammates and the structure of the opponent – ​​is very good.


When receiving on the wing, Palmer generally looks to beat his defender through the dribble and tends to force opponents back. Once his marker faces him, Palmer will try to pass the ball to his left foot to cross or shoot, tracing the diagonal inwards.

If his marker is closer and presses from inside to outside, Palmer can occasionally lose possession when receiving the ball. The ability to protect the ball is especially useful for a winger, especially when he receives near the touchline with horizontal passes. An aspect of the game in which Palmer can still evolve.

When he dribbles inside, his movements and changes of direction are much more intentional, helping him consistently outplay his rivals. In tight situations or in congested areas, Palmer has shown his 1v1 qualities (below).

Palmer’s scoring threat is growing as he familiarizes himself with elite football and faces top-level defenders. Most of his scoring chances in open play come from his quick movement and shooting technique. He feints with his body to the side and shoots the ball towards the opposite angle.

However, he still has room for improvement when he ventures inside and his shots go close to the near post instead of always going across. Using more touches to trick opponents could help you shoot at the near post and create more shooting opportunities overall. When his opponent has covered the initial movement inside, Palmer needs to improve his striking to represent a greater danger in front of the goal.

Without ball

Palmer can press intelligently and duel aggressively. Although he is not a player who regularly recovers balls, he keeps the pressure high with intensity. This is a strategy that Pochettino will likely want to deploy with Chelsea in the long term.

Palmer presses well when he forces the ball towards the touchline, preventing the opposition’s play from progressing on the outside. Starting slightly inside may mean the ball moves forward in the first instance. But his struggle in matchups can force the ball to stumble into defensive traffic. Here, his teammates can gain possession, especially when oriented toward the man mark (below).


Although Palmer has played as a right winger for Chelsea in the first part of the 2023/24 season, he has dedicated himself to moving, receiving and driving in the right inside corridor. Even if he does not become the central playmaker, he will combine inside, provide through balls and provide dangerous lofted balls to the runners in the other interior corridor. His movement towards the inside of him also creates space where he can release the ball for the splits of his teammate on the right back, be it Reece James or Malo Gusto (below).

By moving to the inside zone, Palmer also helps to have superiority in the center of the field, often creating a 4 against 3. His ability to receive oriented and advance away from his markers allows him to connect with the forward line, usually through deep balls . At times, he has also shown his dribbling ability from this position in the interior corridor.

When he maintains his width and receives the ball, he waits to be pressured before changing direction. He can self-pass, but prefers to shift the ball back to his left foot, often venturing inside just as his direct marker dives for the ball. From there, Palmer can drive diagonally, change play, cross or combine inside from a slightly wider position.

Half Point

Palmer has also been used as a playmaker in Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1 structure at Chelsea. In that role he can enable deep balls, although more low to the ground, with fewer spin balls sent high.

Receiving between the lines also allows Palmer to showcase his changes of direction with the ball, dribbling and moving both left and right. When he ventures within, he is usually limited to progressing in one direction. As a playmaker, he is not only able to beat more players on the ball, but also change direction and create more opportunities to penetrate the opposition defense.

As a playmaker, Palmer has also shown his ability to connect with the forward line, even in the tightest of spaces (below). That vision in the middle of congested areas allows him to provide precise and delicate balls forward, helping to create chances.

As he matures and gains more first-team experience, Palmer will be able to get more shooting opportunities from the spaces where he looks for his attacking teammates. Most scoring midfielders and wide players are attackers who top the statistics for shots on goal. Taking more shots, without directing his movements or positioning for them, could help Palmer take his game to the next level.

You can learn about more players and their game in The Coaches’ Voice Analysis/Players.

Written by: The Coaches’ Voice

2023-12-07 11:36:58
#Cole #Palmer #position #style #play #Coaches #Voice

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.