EPL

Cole Palmer 'one of the best in the world' - Reece James

By Sports Desk May 11, 2024

Cole Palmer has been hailed as "one of the best in the world" by team-mate Reece James after playing his part in Chelsea's thrilling 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest.

England international Palmer superbly assisted Mykhailo Mudryk's early opener in Saturday's Premier League contest, before Willy Boly's swift leveller and Callum Hudson-Odoi's second-half curler put Forest in front.

Chelsea pulled off a remarkable late turnaround, however, as Raheem Sterling levelled up on 80 minutes and fellow substitute James assisted Nicolas Jackson's winner two minutes later at City Ground.

Palmer's assist means he has directly contributed to 31 goals in the Premier League this season, which is the joint-most in the division alongside Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the late win at Forest, captain James said: "Cole Palmer is one of the best in the world, I think personally.

"At [Manchester] City he didn't play as much as he would like but he has come here and taken the chance with both hands."

Palmer is just the fourth player in Premier League history to score 20 or more goals and provide 10 or more assists in his debut campaign for a club.

The others on that prestige list are Andrew Cole with Newcastle United in 1993-94, Jurgen Klinsmann with Tottenham in 1994-95 and Mohamed Salah with Liverpool in 2017-18.

The 22-year-old, stood alongside James, said of his colleague's comments: "I wouldn't go that far! But it's nice to hear. 

"It's all new to me. This is my first season playing properly in the league. It was a very important win and now we focus on the next one."

Chelsea have now won three Premier League games in a row and are level on points with sixth-place Newcastle United.

Since Boxing Day, only Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool have picked up more points than Chelsea's 35 in the Premier League, while only leaders City have suffered fewer defeats.

James, who was making his return from a five-month absence, added: "We learn every day. 

"We're still young but we are improving and we're coming strong at the end of the season. Slowly but surely we are finding our feet and reaching a level."

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