Cole Palmer’s name has cropped up in recent weeks as a player that could be heading for the Etihad exit, but his start to the season will surely be shutting down that possibility.
The England U21 international has long been tipped as one of the next big things to emerge from the City academy but has struggled to work his way past the stars in City’s attack, while injuries also have not helped.
But circumstances now appear to be in Palmer’s favour, with the winger fit after a pre-season with the first team and clearly in form, as shown by his goal-scoring exploits in both finals City have played this month.
Also benefiting Palmer are the gaps created by Riyad Mahrez’s move to Saudi Arabia and Kevin De Bruyne’s injury, which could see Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden required to spend more time in midfield.
Pep Guardiola said before the game that Palmer has plenty of improvement still to make – but there is no better way to learn than by playing regularly under the manager that has brought so much success to the blue half of Manchester.
Manchester City now switch their focus back to the Premier League, with Newcastle visiting the Etihad on Saturday – kick-off 8pm.
The Premier League champions then travel to newly-promoted Sheffield United on Sunday August 27, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 2pm.