Foden, Saka or Palmer: Premier League icons choose the best player

Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Cole Palmer (Imago)


Phil Foden and Cole Palmer made the 2023-24 Premier League Fan Team of the Season but Arsenal's Bukayo Saka was excluded (Imago)

Foden, Saka or Palmer: Premier League icons choose the best player

Seye Omidiora 16:51 - 06.04.2024

The young Englishmen have had excellent campaigns for their clubs, leading to the continued comparison of the trio.

Former Liverpool and Arsenal players Steve Nicol and Stewart Robson have had their say on the ongoing debate regarding Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Cole Palmer.  

Foden vs Saka vs Palmer

All three have had admirable campaigns for their clubs, with Foden’s 14 goals and seven assists similar to Saka’s 13 goals and eight assists in the Premier League

A new entrant into the debate is Palmer, who has inspired a middling Chelsea side with his 16 strikes and nine assists, outdoing the Man City and Arsenal attackers, even if eight of the former City player’s 16 have come from 12 yards. 

The City star notched a hat-trick against Aston Villa this week, and the Blues man followed in kind in the West London club’s rip-roaring 4-3 victory over Manchester United on Thursday, with Saka getting a rest in Arsenal’s win over Luton Town in mid-week. Given how all three are pitted against each other, the ESPN pundits had their say in the non-stop discussion surrounding the three players.  

Bukayo Saka
England and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka (Imago)

What was said about the Foden vs Saka vs Palmer debate?

Asked which player has the utmost upside, the ex-Arsenal midfielder opted for the Manchester City man.

“Until recent times when Saka’s been injured, he’s been magnificent for England and Arsenal; he’s an outstanding player,” Robson said on ESPN. “Foden is in the form of his life; he’s playing as well as he can. Palmer is a languid runner with the ball, and he can score goals.

“Who I will pick as the main one would probably be Foden. On current form, Cole Palmer and Saka just behind him because he’s currently injured.”

Phil Foden
Man City Star Phil Foden (Imago)

Liverpool icon Nicol agreed with his colleague, even if he had Saka second and Palmer third. 

“I would go with Foden, said the erstwhile Reds defender. “I think Saka is a better player than Palmer right now. It’s easy to forget that Cole Palmer is still learning the game.

“As much as he scored a hat-trick (against Manchester United), he disappears out of games a lot. Whether that has to do with the team he’s playing for, it could be that as well, but if he can figure out how to be involved for more during the 90 minutes, then he could be fantastic. 

“Right now, Foden is the best of the three.” 

Cole Palmer
Cole Palmer scored a Chelsea hat-trick against Manchester United to end the Blues' seven-year winless run against the Red Devils (Imago/PA Images)

What comes next for Foden, Saka and Palmer?

Foden and Saka aim to help Man City and Arsenal compete on multiple fronts in the Premier League and Champions League, with both sides potentially meeting in the semi-final of Europe’s premier club competition. 

Palmer seeks to play a pivotal part as Mauricio Pochettino’s men strive to end in the European positions via the league and eliminate old club Man City in the FA Cup last four. 

While the City and Arsenal stars are expected to make England’s Euro 2024 squad, the Chelsea superstar’s involvement remains uncertain despite his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s recent squads.