Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has described the situation surrounding Chelsea midfielder Kasey Palmer’s future as “difficult” but has refused to rule out a move for the player.
Another graduate of the Chelsea youth team who is yet to make a senior appearance for the club, Palmer has spent a significant amount of his career on loan in the Championship.
The midfielder has made 68 total appearances in the league for City, Huddersfield Town, Derby County, and Blackburn Rovers, but Johnson indicated that it could be tough for the Robins to bring him back to the Championship this season.
Speaking to Bristol Live, he said: “It’s a difficult situation. There’s a new manager gone in there and a manager who has worked with Kasey and seen him flourish through the youth teams.
“The best situation for Kasey Palmer is he fights his way into Chelsea’s side.
“We’ve made the signing of Sammie Szmodics which is a similar position in that particular formation [4-2-3-1] and brings different qualities.
“But never say never because you never know what is going to happen with the rest of the squad – what might move in, and what might move out.
“At this moment in time, I wouldn’t say anything is pending on Kasey Palmer for that reason, really.”
Even with Frank Lampard as the new manager and the Blues’ transfer ban, I find it difficult to see Palmer breaking into the Chelsea first-team next season given the players ahead of him in the squad.
That said, Johnson’s comments indicate it is unlikely he will be rejoining the Robins this summer, but given the current status of the City squad, I don’t believe it would be a huge blow if they were unable to bring him back.
Bristol City were 10 goals shy of the top six and 34 short of Championship winners Norwich City last season, and Palmer would certainly add another creative option and some extra depth to the squad.
However, in new signing Szmodics and with Jamie Paterson the Robins already have some quality options in attacking midfield, meaning Palmer may be excess to requirements.