Chelsea Academy graduate Kasey Palmer split his time between Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City last season, switching between the two Championship clubs in the winter transfer window. He played slightly more in the second half of the season with Bristol City than he did in the first with Rovers, and many expected him to return for next season as well, just as fellow Chelsea loanees Jay Dasilva and Tomáš Kalas have — both in fact completing permanent transfers from Chelsea, with the latter becoming the club’s record signing.
But whether Palmer follows in the footsteps of his fellow ex-teammates remains to be seen. Bristol City may have had similar designs for the 22-year-old as well, but those plans have changed in the last few weeks, in part due to Palmer’s inclusion for Chelsea’s preseason training camp over in Dublin.
“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 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.”
-Lee Johnson; source: Bristol Post
While it would be surprising if Palmer made the cut for the Chelsea first-team this season, even with Jody Morris returning as Lampard’s assistant — a homegrown attacking midfielder could be useful — like Lee Johnson says, you can never say never! At the very least, Palmer has shown himself to be at least Championship-level good (with Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, and Huddersfield Town) and perhaps should be setting his sights a bit higher.