Paul Merson has drawn a comparison between Chelsea’s Cole Palmer and Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp ahead of Chelsea’s match against Tottenham on Monday. The 21-year-old Chelsea attacker, who joined the club from Manchester City for £42.5 million during the summer, has been in excellent form recently.
Palmer’s versatility and ability to play in various positions under Mauricio Pochettino have been key factors in Chelsea’s decision to invest in him. In their previous match against Brentford, Palmer played in the No.10 role behind Nicolas Jackson, where he demonstrated his skill and ability to find space between the opposition’s defense and midfield.
Writing in his Sky Sports column, Merson commented on Palmer’s performance and his importance to Chelsea: “He was like the Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal for Chelsea, the number of opportunities he created. In the second half, he ran out of ideas.”
Palmer has also been deployed as a false nine, notably against Arsenal last month, where he scored the opening goal. Pochettino may consider using him in this role again against Spurs on Monday, particularly against stronger opponents in the Premier League.
Merson also defended Nicolas Jackson, Chelsea’s young striker, acknowledging the pressure and expectations on the 22-year-old: “With Nicolas Jackson, you’ve got to remember he’s only 22. He’s just come from another country and is now playing at a top club that, at the moment, are struggling. He seems to be the one taking the brunt of it. His confidence has gone a bit, but for me, there’s no question he’s got the potential to be a star.”
Despite the form of both teams, Merson believes that Monday’s game is “perfect” for Chelsea and Pochettino, as he expects Tottenham to come out and attack the visitors, which suits Chelsea’s style of play. He noted that Chelsea has performed well when facing teams that take the initiative, such as Liverpool and Arsenal, and predicts a positive outcome for Chelsea in the match against Tottenham.