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Cole Palmer sends a statement after UEFA Super Cup success

Manchester City added another trophy to their cabinet as they won the UEFA Super Cup on penalties against Sevilla on Wednesday night in Athens.

Even though Pep Guardiola fielded a star-studded line-up, it was academy product Cole Palmer who helped take the game to penalties after a strong start from Sevilla.

The Europa League winners could not hang on in the end and Palmer's goal, which came in the 63rd minute, could be the start of a breakthrough campaign this season.

While Palmer is no stranger to the big stage, his goal on Wednesday proved he can compete at the highest level, but will he be playing somewhere else come September?

Super Cup success not enough to guarantee City future

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was a notable absentee from Guardiola's midfield, but he turned to Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Palmer to try and create chances for Erling Haaland.

As the youngest member of that midfield trio, Palmer was the one under the least pressure, but he showed experience beyond his years to help the Citizens draw level.

Sevilla had taken the lead through Nemanja Gudelj in the first half, but Palmer headed home after the break, converting Rodri's cross.

Palmer has had very few moments to shine in the last 18 months but he was one of City's leading lights, if not their best player, on an intense night in Athens.

Usually, a player of Palmer's quality would look forward to a big few months, but Guardiola has confirmed the 21-year-old may still move on before the end of the transfer window.

When asked about Palmer's future, Guardiola told reporters: "I don't know [if he will stay]. When we arrived, I had the opinion that he wanted to leave, but now I don't know.

"I don't think a loan is going to happen. He's going to stay, or he's going to be sold.

"He showed character - it is not easy to play defenders like [Marcos] Acuna - a young player in these stages, it's not easy. He played good and made a fantastic goal, too."

Guardiola will hope to keep hold of the winger to bolster his team's chances of defending their Premier League crown at odds of 4/6.

Palmer ready for the next step

Palmer was asked the same questions by journalists at full-time and, like all young players, he answered simply. "I just want to play football," the academy product said.

The youngster has made it clear what he wants before the end of August and, if rumours are to be believed, he could end up at West Ham should City sign Lucas Paqueta.

Palmer has had no shortage of offers from Championship clubs, but after scoring the equaliser in a prestigious European tie he has already proved he can cut it amongst the best.

The playmaker has only made 23 appearances for the club, which is far from ideal, considering he made his debut in 2020.

Guardiola only had Julian Alvarez available from the bench after a summer of exits, but if City do sign another winger, Palmer's future may be suited elsewhere.

The future is bright for England youngster

City midfielder Foden has already shown Palmer what patience can do at the Etihad Stadium, but the England Under-21 international now has to think of his own career.

De Bruyne's injury and Riyad Mahrez's departure have paved the way for more first-team football, and this season simply has to be his best opportunity to become a fully-fledged first-team footballer.

Palmer has a similar style to Mahrez, so the transition should be straightforward. Even if he moves on, Palmer makes the game look easy, and he should be excited by his future.

He was part of the England Under-21 squad that won the European Championship in the summer, and he has represented the Young Lions in every age group.

The England coaching staff will be fully aware of Palmer's ability, and a regular run of games as a top-flight footballer may be all he needs to break into Gareth Southgate's plans.

Southgate cannot rely on Palmer at this stage, though, with Foden far more experienced and reliable.

Moving away from City means the chances of silverware are slimmer, but this season should be Palmer's chance to stake a claim.

He has already been part of a squad that won the Champions League, and City are 9/4 to win the biggest prize in European football for the second season in a row.

If he remains in Manchester, he has a clearer path to the first team and City need a big squad for an energy-sapping campaign.

A permanent move elsewhere is not the end of the world either, and it could genuinely allow one of England's brightest youngsters the chance to prove his worth on the world stage.

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