Andy Morrison says Cole Palmer’s first team breakthrough is a positive for other prospects in Manchester City’s Academy as it proves talented players will be given an opportunity.

Palmer has enjoyed a remarkable few weeks, scoring a hat-trick for the Elite Development Squad on the same day he came on as late substitute for the senior team and netting his first Champions League goal against Club Brugge.

He made his second start of the campaign in the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham United, but impressed during his 76-minute appearance, finding pockets of space and linking midfield and attack with probing passing.


Morrison believes Palmer has earned his spot and feels the 19-year-old’s level headed nature bears resemblance to the manner in which Phil Foden conducted himself on his rise up the ranks.

“The way Foden has dealt with the pressures that come along and the way he has been protected by the club and the manager, this player [Palmer] looks as though he has the same quality and the same attitude and the same mindset,” said the former City captain on the latest edition of Matchday Live.

“It’s great for people behind to see that, to see the opportunity. You need one thing, you need talent. You need to be good enough to break into the team.

“It is not a case of trying to get players on to show we are bringing players through. They have to be ready. 

“You have to earn the right to be on the pitch and it’s not about ticking a box for bringing players through. What they have done when they have come in they have shown they are good enough.

“The manager believes in them and it’s a great pathway for the lads coming through the programme.”

Be it Carabao Cup, Champions League or Premier League, Palmer has looked at home amongst the first team squad.

He has played his natural game and never look overawed by the occasion.

Morrison says there is no doubts over the midfielder’s ability and feels the real challenge will be ensuring he can maintain his level of performance every time he is called upon.

“We know what he is capable of,” added the 51-year-old.

“What he needs to do is to maintain the standards he’s set. That’s in every department, the way he carries himself in the changing room, the way he carries himself on the trip towards the game.

“The staff will be watching all the youngsters and just seeing how they deal with pressure and how they react.

“When he is on the pitch he plays with a real freedom. He drops his shoulder very much like Mahrez. You don’t know when it’s coming, but you know it’s coming.

“He is exceptional at buying himself half a yard.”