Cole Palmer set for Chelsea positional change as Enzo Maresca hatches risky plan

Cole Palmer impressed last season on the wing (Image: Getty)

Enzo Maresca has reportedly decided that Chelsea star Cole Palmer will be utilised in central areas next season, rather than out on the right wing.

The England international was one of the few players to emerge with credit at Stamford Bridge last season, somewhat single-handedly guiding the club to the European places and asserting himself as one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League.

Palmer scored 25 goals and registered 15 assists in 45 appearances for Chelsea last season, thriving playing on the right of Mauricio Pochettino’s front three but being granted the freedom to roam inside and influence play.

The ex-Manchester United star also played as a No. 10 on occasions for the club, though he appeared to have a greater impact on matches when playing out wide – with Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo being Pochettino’s first-choice midfield trio.

However, Palmer may need to familiarise himself with playing as an attacking-minded midfielder next season.

According to The Athletic, the 22-year-old is ‘expected’ to play in the No. 10 role under Maresca, with Chelsea planning to sign a right-winger to compete with Noni Madueke for a starting spot on the flank.

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Enzo Maresca is expected to make major changes at Chelsea this summer (Image: Getty)

Palmer is unlikely to struggle in midfield given that he has shown maturity beyond his years when being tasked with playing several different positions previously, including as a makeshift striker, though he may not be particularly pleased with such a drastic change being made following his stellar campaign.

The decision is likely to facilitate Michael Olise’s arrival at the club, if Chelsea are able to win the race to secure the signature of the Crystal Palace ace.

Michael Olise has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea (Image: Getty)

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The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park this summer, with Newcastle, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs cited as being among his suitors.

Olise has a ‘complicated’ release clause in his contract with the Eagles, but Chelsea remain determined to strike an agreement to lure the versatile winger to Stamford Bridge – having failed to persuade the former Reading star to join the club just 12 months ago.

The Blues have already been in contact with Palace to request permission to speak with Olise’s entourage, though it remains to be seen whether Maresca’s project is more of an exciting proposition than proposals elsewhere.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1912680/Chelsea-news-Cole-Palmer-Enzo-Maresca