Cole Palmer has hilariously claimed that he initially thought his England call-up was a ‘blag’ in footage of the youngster joining up with the Three Lions squad for the first time.
The 21-year-old was rewarded for his fine performances this term after Gareth Southgate was forced to draft in reinforcements to his injury-depleted side.
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Cole Palmer, who scored a last-minute penalty for Chelsea against his former club Manchester City on Sunday, revealed that news of his inclusion in the squad for fixtures against Malta and North Macedonia came immediately after the game.
And he initially suspected that it was a joke before becoming convinced by the authenticity of the memo.
‘Right after the game it was,’ Cole Palmer told Chelsea team-mate Conor Gallagher, who was unaware of his selection, in a video released by England on X, formerly Twitter. ‘I thought it was a blag at first. I Swear. But then it looked real so.’
The winger is joined by fellow debutants Rico Lewis, his former City team-mate, and Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa.
After seeing his initial squad hampered by injuries to Lewis Dunk, James Maddison and Callum Wilson, Southgate suffered a double blow on Tuesday when Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham and Chelsea’s Levi Colwill were forced to withdraw.
The pair underwent assessments by the England medical staff before being told they would play no part in the forthcoming fixtures because of the status of their injuries.
Bellingham has been suffering with a shoulder injury that ruled him out of miss Madrid’s LaLiga clash against Valencia on the weekend.
Colwill has also struggled with a shoulder injury and missed Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City as a result. Therefore, Marc Cucurella stepped in to replace him at left-back.
Southgate is also waiting on the arrival of Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips as they have been afforded more time at home to deal some ‘personal matters’, according to the statement released on Tuesday.
The England boss is yet to decide if he will replace Bellingham and Colwill.