Pep Guardiola says Cole Palmer’s ability was never in question during the youngster’s time at City.

Palmer ended his 13-year association with City last summer when he joined Chelsea and has flourished at Stamford Bridge, scoring 12 goals in 28 games this season, as well as winning two full England caps.

Asked at his Friday press preview if he had expected Palmer to do so well, Guardiola said it wasn’t a surprise at all.

“When he can play regularly like has happened, then yes, I did not doubt his quality,” said the boss.

“The stats and the way he is playing, he is already an exceptional player. 

“He got the minutes he wanted, and it was just a question of time - he has shown his quality.”

And asked if was happy for the 21-year-old, Pep replied: “Of course. He is a lovely lad and helped us to achieve what we achieved.”