Cole Palmer, a Manchester City academy graduate, would ‘easily’ be worth up to £60 million if he played frequently, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
The highly rated 20-year-old has battled to break into Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans this season, but it does not diminish his immense potential.
According to a report from Barclay’s employers last month, Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund were ready to get Palmer on a season-long loan before the transfer window closed.
Guardiola, on the other hand, wanted him to stay and was quick to acknowledge his ‘special quality’ after the England Under-21 international scored against Club Brugge in the Champions League last season.
“Cole has a special quality in front of the box, a talent that is difficult to find. When he has the ball there, most of the time it ends up in the net. It’s difficult to find that,” said the 51-year-old tactician.
“I know how it works with young players. We have to be calm and patient. His position is the second team but at the same time he trains with us and works with our principles.”
Palmer has since solidified his place in the senior squad, albeit he has only started four games for his boyhood club.
Barclay believes that if Palmer was at a club like Everton, where he would be guaranteed game time, he could command a large transfer fee.
He said: “Cole Palmer is fantastic. We we’re talking about him yesterday actually, if he’d gone on loan, or if he was at Everton right now, I think he could easily be a sort of £50-60 million player if he played every week because he’s that good, but obviously at City it’s different.
“And with all the will in the world, he’s not a player who’s going to start every week between now and the start of the World Cup.”
Palmer, who has mostly played as an offensive midfielder throughout his career, has put up some impressive stats for a number of City’s youth teams.
In 64 games for the reigning Premier League champions, the 6 foot 2 ace has 42 goals and 19 assists, demonstrating his absolutely elite talent.
Palmer will be aiming to carry his junior success into the senior ranks, and Guardiola’s track record of fostering young talent should give him incentive to wait for his chance to shine.