Micah Richards has expressed his disappointment at Manchester City’s decision to sell Cole Palmer to Chelsea in the wake of his decisive role in the Blues’ 4-4 draw against the Premier League champions.
Palmer kept his cool to convert a late penalty at Stamford Bridge to conclude a pulsating tie on Sunday.
A brace from Erling Haaland and a deflected effort from Rodri had given Pep Guardiola’s side the advantage going into the final minutes of the game following Chelsea goals from Thiago Silva, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson.
But in the dying moments, after Anthony Taylor had pointed to the spot when Ruben Dias fouled Armando Broja, the former City youngster stepped up to earn a deserved point.
Micah Richards, who came through the City academy before making 245 appearances for the club, admitted that it was tough to see the 21-year-old turning out for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. And he claimed Palmer would still be a City player if the decision was up to him.
‘It’s a good question because I would have never sold him, just because I knew what he could do.’ He said on The Rest Is Football podcast. ‘The thing is with Manchester City, they produce so many good players and obviously, they buy top players too, so you can’t have everyone.
‘If you can get £42m for someone that didn’t play that many games… It’s the courage I like. Can you remember a couple of weeks ago when he and [Raheem] Sterling were fighting over a penalty and he was like no, I am taking this.
‘To take a penalty in the 95th minute. I am gutted.’
Palmer spent 12 years at the Etihad, making his way through the junior ranks and eventually turning out 41 times for Guardiola’s team. The City boss revealed that the winger had rejected his offer of more playing time in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge.
A decision Richards agreed will be beneficial for his development, in light of the treble winners’ plethora of attacking options.
He added: ‘I think it was right for him because he is not going to a team that isn’t going to challenge, he has got a great manager and he’s at a club that is going to spend a lot of money. He’s becoming the main man.
‘He was never going to be the main man at Manchester City. We have talked so much about [Phil] Foden and if he can become that and it’s taken him a while and he’s dipped in form a little bit – he played well yesterday.
‘But when you have Foden, [Jeremy] Doku, [Jack] Grealish, Bernardo Silva and [Julian] Alvarez, he has to go and play.
‘I am gutted and devastated that he is not a Manchester City player, but I am happy he is doing so well.’