Chelsea ace Cole Palmer has been called up to the England squad ahead of this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers versus Malta and North Macedonia following his heroics against Manchester City.
The 21-year-old, who netted a 95th-minute penalty to secure a well-earned point against his former club, missed out on Gareth Southgate's selection earlier this week, but has been parachuted in to cover injuries to the likes of James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Jude Bellingham.
Palmer has been given a late nod alongside former City team-mate Rico Lewis, who like Palmer has never been called up to England's senior team before.
The duo, along with Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa, who has replaced the injured Lewis Dunk, have a decent chance of making their debuts too considering the calibre of opposition.
Palmer has been on fire since joining Chelsea from City in the summer. He's scored four times in 11 games and has arguably been the Blues' standout player of the season so far. He was on top form on Sunday too as Mauricio Pochettino's side came from behind three times to seal a 4-4 draw against Pep Guardiola's champions.
Lewis, meanwhile, has also been turning heads. The 18-year-old, who can play at full back and in central midfield, has made 10 appearances so far this season in all competitions, and earned stellar praise from Guardiola, who declared last month that he was one of the best players he has ever coached.
England host Malta on November 17 at Wembley before wrapping up their qualifying campaign against North Macedonia in Skopje on November 20. Southgate’s side have already qualified for the tournament in Germany next summer following their 3-1 win over Italy in October.
Raheem Sterling, who was man of the match during last night's thrilling 4-4 draw between Chelsea and City, will feel a little aggrieved to have been bumped for Blues' team-mate Palmer. It isn't the first time Southgate has left the 28-year-old out his squad this year, though the Three Lions boss insisted last week that this was only due to the form of other players in his position.
Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher was full of praise for Palmer after Sunday's game, particularly after scoring such a pressure penalty. He said as cited by Sports Central: "I think to go into a football club at such a young age, who have spent a lot of money on you, I think that’s confidence and arrogance, especially with that celebration! There was the incident with Sterling before, now has four in five games, but that tells you a lot about what his character is like. "When Chelsea needs a goal, he wants the ball, you have to give it to him. I admire that he’s moved onto Chelsea because he’ll be feeling a lot better in these last four to six weeks at Chelsea, far more than he ever was at Man City, it doesn’t matter what medals he's won.".