Enzo Maresca already has a clear plan on how to best utilize Cole Palmer, even if Gareth Southgate doesn’t appear to.

Palmer, Chelsea’s dynamic forward, has been one of the most electrifying talents in the Premier League this past season.

With an impressive tally of 22 goals and 11 assists, no player had more direct goal contributions in the league.

Yet, in a puzzling turn of events, he has not made a single appearance for England at Euro 2024. This decision by Gareth Southgate has raised eyebrows and invited criticism; particularly given their lackluster performances in the tournament’s initial stages.

Palmer‘s statistics alone make a compelling case for his inclusion. His ability to find the back of the net and set up teammates is unparalleled.

This would make him a critical asset in high-stakes matches where goals are at a premium. The 22-year-old’s vision, creativity, and knack for crucial plays in the final third make him a unique threat England could desperately use.

Against Denmark, where the Three Lions managed only a 1-1 draw, his exclusion was glaring. With the match on the line and England needing a spark, Southgate opted for other substitutes. While these players are talented, the forward’s proven track record this season suggests he might have been a more effective choice.

England’s current tactical setup has come under scrutiny. The decision to overlook Palmer, a player who excels in both wide and central attacking roles, is baffling to many. Southgate’s cautious approach might be to blame.

England has not been in danger of missing out on the knockout stages, thanks in part to the other group match between Slovenia and Serbia ending in a draw. However, the performances have been far from convincing.

What can Palmer’s versatility bring?

The young player’s versatility is one of his greatest assets. At Chelsea, he has thrived both as a right-winger and a central attacking midfielder.

This adaptability allows him to fit into various tactical setups, something that should be invaluable in tournament action.

His tendency to drift infield from the right flank to exploit central pockets of space would add a new dimension to England’s attack.

Cole Palmer had an outstanding debut year with Chelsea, becoming their most important player
Cole Palmer had an outstanding debut year with Chelsea, becoming their most important player

Cole Palmer had an outstanding debut year with Chelsea, becoming their most important player

If Southgate were to incorporate Palmer into the England lineup, the potential benefits are substantial. In a No. 10 role or as a wide forward, Palmer could provide the creative spark and goal-scoring threat that has been missing.

His presence on the field would demand attention from opposition defenders, potentially opening up space for other attackers like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.

What is Maresca planning for Palmer next season?

While Southgate has different plans for Cole Palmer’s role with the national team, Enzo Maresca wants to see more playing time for the player at Chelsea.

The Italian boss plans to build the team’s midfield around the 22-year-old, positioning him as a central No. 10 behind a lone striker. This shift from the flank to a more central role reflects Palmer’s evolution as a player and his ability to influence the game from multiple positions.

Under former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, he was a standout performer, scoring 25 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions.

His ability to elevate the performances of those around him and his consistent goal-scoring prowess made him an indispensable part of the team. Maresca’s tactical plans to employ him centrally aim to leverage his creativity and goal-scoring abilities even further.

Photo credits: IMAGO / PA Images : IMAGO / PA Images