Mauricio Pochettino Has Compared Cole Palmer’s Style Of Play To Angel Di Maria

Mauricio Pochettino has likened Chelsea summer signing Cole Palmer to Argentina World Cup winner Angel Di Maria.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a fine start to life at Stamford Bridge after his £40million move from Manchester City on deadline day.

He's since become a key figure in Chelsea's starting eleven, returning five times in 13 appearances across all competitions so far this season, notably scoring during the Blue's heated 4-1 victory against Tottenham on Monday. 

And Pochettino has lumped praise on his new signing, comparing him to former Real Madrid and Man United star Di Maria in a press conference ahead of their match against Manchester City on Sunday. 

The Chelsea boss was asked whether Palmer reminded him of Juan Mata but Pochettino said as cited by Sports Central: 'Juan Mata? No, he is more Di Maria! You know, the body and the way he moves.'

Di Maria is currently plying his trade in the Liga Portugal with Benfica, having moved back to the Portuguese champions as a free agent this summer after leaving the club 13 years ago.

The England U21 star has meanwhile been attracting plenty of praise following his excellent start, with some suggesting Palmer could be on the cusp of a call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad. 

During the press conference, Pochettino also fielded questions on whether he was surprised to see Manchester City let a talent like Palmer, a graduate of the Cityzen's academy system, leave the club. 

He added: 'I think it is not fair to say it surprises me just because now he is performing and he didn't play too much in City. 'We are two different clubs, with different objectives. Maybe he fits well for Chelsea. [Mateo] Kovacic left Chelsea for City and I don't know what happened. 'It's always difficult to judge these kinds of decisions.'

Having won the treble with City last season, Palmer will face off against his old side on Sunday. 

In the summer, Palmer spoke on his motives for moving to the London club, claiming while he was willing to compete for a place in Pep Guardiola's side, he added that he wanted more regular football.

Palmer played only four times in the Champions League for City last season, while also making only two starts in the Premier League.

Palmer said in the summer: ‘I’m not saying I shied away from the competition (for places at City) because I’ve never done that.  ‘I’d been there (around the first team) for a few years and wanted more of an opportunity to play - in my position and to have more of an impact.'

But it seems that decision to leave has been vindicated by his fast start to life at Stamford Bridge, adding in October: 'It [his fine form] has surprised me a bit but I know my own ability. 'And I knew that if I hit the ground running I'd have a chance and obviously make an impact. That's why I went there.'