Cole Palmer earns praise in Euro 2024 debut, Conor Gallagher disappoints

England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024
England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Cole Palmer made a significant impact in his first appearance for England at Euro 2024, earning high praise from both fans and pundits. Despite being benched for the first two group stage matches, Palmer seized the opportunity when manager Gareth Southgate finally gave him a chance in the final group game against Slovenia. Although the match ended in a 0-0 draw, Palmer's performance stood out as a bright spot.

Blues supporters were not surprised by Palmer's impressive display, having witnessed his talents throughout the season at Stamford Bridge. Southgate, too, was full of praise for the young star. In multiple interviews with the BBC, he highlighted Palmer's ability to find space and create chances.

"He did very good. He finds space well and he makes chances, and we were backing him to score at the end. They are young players, and we are blooding them in a difficult environment. They had a good impact for us and did good things for us. Anthony Gordon, Cole Palmer, Kobbie Mainoo, it was a really good move. We have to build on that. There were a lot of things to build on from tonight."

Southgate further added,

"He looked very sharp, that is what we have seen in the last few days training. We have got some very good players in the squad, and I don't feel as though we should hesitate to use them."

Conor Gallagher
England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

While Palmer's performance was a highlight, Chelsea's other England representative, Conor Gallagher, had a night to forget. Gallagher was brought in to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold in the starting lineup, a decision that seemed ill-suited from the start. Struggling to make an impact, Gallagher was substituted at half-time.

Former Ireland international Roy Keane was particularly impressed with Palmer's 20-minute cameo, describing him as unpredictable and a player who can affect the game. Keane said on ITV,

"He's so unpredictable, he can beat a man, go left or right. A lot of brilliant players affect the game, when he came on, you knew he was going to affect the game. Every time he got it, we were looking at him. I'm hard to impress, and I'm thinking 'something is going to happen'. Every time he gets the ball, you think something is going to happen."

Keane believes Palmer could be key to England's success in the knockout stages.

"He will think he should be in that starting XI. He won't think 'I'm learning and I'm glad to be here'. He will be looking at Gareth, like the big personalities do, thinking 'get me out there'."

Palmer was clearly pleased with Keane's comments, acknowledging the praise from the former Manchester United star. He expressed that it is always nice to hear such praise, especially coming from someone like Roy Keane who played internationally and at Manchester United.

Looking ahead to the Round of 16, Palmer expressed his readiness to step up if called upon, but noted that it is ultimately up to the manager for what he wants to do.

Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo, who also made a positive impact off the bench against Slovenia, offered insights into Palmer's training ethic. Mainoo described Palmer as one of the standout performers in training every day, highlighting his relentless effort and goal-scoring drive. He noted that everyone recognises Palmer's electrifying talent, having witnessed his capabilities in the Premier League, and he is maintaining that impressive form.

Mainoo expressed confidence that Palmer will continue to excel in the upcoming rounds. He added that Palmer never eases off and is always striving to score goals and improve, just like the rest of the team.

Cole Palmer's debut at Euro 2024 has given England fans a glimmer of hope as the team heads into the knockout stages. With his ability to create chances and inject energy into the squad, Palmer could be a crucial player for Southgate's side moving forward.

Meanwhile, Conor Gallagher will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing performance and prove his worth in the upcoming matches. As the tournament progresses, all eyes will be on the young Chelsea stars, eager to see how they contribute to England's quest for European glory.