Fabregas reacts to Palmer equaling his milestone in Chelsea’s draw with Burnley

Cole Palmer has been Chelsea’s best player this season, according to Cesc Fabregas (Picture: Getty)

Cesc Fabregas says Cole Palmer has ‘without a doubt’ been Chelsea’s standout performer this season after the attacking midfielder joined him in an elite club of just five players with his double against Burnley last weekend.

Palmer twice put Chelsea in front at Stamford Bridge but Vincent Kompany’s side – reduced to ten men after Lorenz Assignon’s sending off – hit back on both occasions and the points were shared.

The result means the Blues remain stuck down in 12th place in the Premier League table, trailing leaders and bitter rivals Arsenal by 28 points, ahead of their clash with Manchester United this evening.

Chelsea’s performance against Burnley was in many ways a microcosm of the team’s season as a whole, with summer signing Palmer proving one of the few shining lights in what has been a desperately disappointing campaign.

The Manchester City academy graduate has now registered 13 goals and eight assists in the top flight this term, meaning he is one of only five players in history to reach 20 goal involvements in their debut season for the club.

Only Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (32 goal involvements), Diego Costa (23), Fabregas (21) and Eden Hazard (20) have achieved the feat before Palmer, who became the youngest of those mentioned to reach hit the milestone with his brace on Saturday.

Asked about Palmer matching his tally on the Planet Premier League podcast, Fabregas – who registered three goals and 18 assists in 2014/15 – was quick to remind host Mark Chapman how deep he played compared to the England international.

The England international has 21 goal involvements for the campaign (Picture: Getty)

But the legendary ex-Spain midfielder was full of praise for Palmer and admitted the youngster had far exceeded his expectations following his summer arrival in west London.

‘What position does he play?! I was playing in front of John Terry and Gary Cahill, just saying,’ Fabregas joked.

‘I was very, very deep back.’

Fabregas registered three goals and 18 assists in his debut season at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Fabregas added: ‘It’s all about his personality. I have to say that I was a little bit surprised by the move

‘I remember I was doing the Champions League final in the summer and he was just warming up there, being one of these young players coming up, enjoying the experience, not being basically selected or looked at to feature in the game.

‘And then all of a sudden – a big move to Chelsea. He starts performing at a very, very high level with a lot of quality and personality. He wants the ball, he makes things happen, the final pass, he scores goals.

‘He looks to me a bit like [James] Maddison for Tottenham. He’s that type of player that makes the team tick.’

Fabregas, a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, feels Palmer’s ‘composure’ in the final third is what sets him apart from many of his peers in the Premier League.

‘He has this pause in him. Sometimes in modern football, everything accelerates too fast and players don’t understand the moment when to pass or when to move,’ he continued.

‘He has this little pause, this composure in him that gives time to the strikers to make their runs.

‘I love him and I have to say I’ve been very, very impressed. I didn’t expect this type of impact and he has been the player of the year without any doubt for Chelsea.’

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