Manchester City showcased a potential successor to Riyad Mahrez in their recent game, as Cole Palmer scored a spectacular goal. Mahrez, who contributed 39 goals in two seasons, has departed for Al-Ahli. However, Palmer’s performance may not guarantee him a regular position this season. City have not brought in a replacement for Mahrez, leaving a potential vacancy in the squad. Palmer could be loaned out to gain more first-team experience, with Brighton reportedly interested in acquiring his services.
Palmer’s goal came in the Community Shield match against Arsenal at Wembley. He cut in from the right flank, reminiscent of Mahrez’s playing style, and curled in a shot with his left foot. Although his goal secured him the player-of-the-match award, City ultimately lost the game in a penalty shootout. Palmer’s impact was overshadowed by Leandro Trossard’s equalizer.
Guardiola acknowledged Palmer’s desire for more playing time and stated that a solution needs to be found for him. Palmer himself expressed his hope to play more games in the upcoming season. Despite his impressive performance at Wembley, Palmer may still need to go through a winding road to establish himself in the City side.
Erling Haaland’s importance to City is evident, considering his prolific goal-scoring record last season. With Mahrez and Gundogan’s departures, a shared attribute among them was their ability to score goals. City is yet to import players with similar goal-scoring capabilities, as Kovacic, who came in for Gundogan, rarely finds the net. No winger has been signed so far.
Guardiola opted for technicians rather than goal-scorers in the starting lineup, starting with Kovacic, Grealish, and Silva. The injection of impetus from De Bruyne and the moment of brilliance from Palmer brightened City’s performance. However, it remains uncertain if Palmer can fill the void left by Mahrez immediately.
Manchester City has often combined their possession-based style with individual moments of brilliance from players like De Bruyne and Mahrez. Palmer’s performance suggested he could be the heir to the Algerian, but his future at the club is still uncertain.