Chelsea identify perfect Cole Palmer partner as Kylian Mbappe transfer decision finally made

PSG striker Kylian Mbappe

There is a lot riding on Chelsea's final three games of the season. Perhaps too much. Perhaps not enough.

Mauricio Pochettino has just over one week to prove why he should be trusted to lead this expensively assembled project into a second season. Players have 270 minutes (ish) of football to stake their claim for a place in the squad of whatever head coach walks out at Stamford Bridge next season, and European qualification is on the line.

Some will argue that in an ideal world, though not necessarily realistic, Pochettino has already secured some form of European action for next year. There might have been a Champions League battle for a portion of the season, maybe there was some shred of consistency and less frequent damning results.

But in nine months of working with a young squad forced together in remarkable circumstances, it has arrived at a key point for Pochettino regardless. He will be assessed at the end of the year and has a small window to keep building evidence that progress is not only real but also meaningful.

He will continue to work professionally during the strange times that follow, but uncertainty is in the air. Chelsea are behind their rivals in the transfer market as it's not yet clear who their manager will be for the new season, and there is no promise of that becoming clear until the end of May at the earliest.

But that hasn't stopped things going on around them that is of definite interest. For starters, although a lack of European football this season didn't stop them acquiring talented players in the market, the Europa League will be a financial boost and additional pull for any possible doubters of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital project, even if only surface-level.

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More importantly, plans are still being drawn up by the co-sporting directors and think-tank behind the operations. And on this note It has been said in some quarters that despite failing to get a deal for Michael Olise over the line last summer - their intense interest actually pushed him to sign a new contract at Selhurst Park - they are in the mix again.

Along with Manchester United and a host of other top sides, it is said the Blues are eyeing up the French attacker (another left-footed right-winger) as a possible statement buy. It is further reported that a package of around £65million would do the job. Other publications have stated that a player could be offered in part-exchange with Armando Broja, Trevoh Chalobah, and Raheem Sterling all mentioned. says: Chelsea got away with their errors last summer in trying to sign Olise. Nobody, other than Cole Palmer himself, could have predicted just how well their replacement would go.

Even with an injury-hit season and the constraints of an increasingly tired-looking Roy Hodgson side at Palace, Olise has gone on to thrive. Now under Oliver Glasner and being unleashed a bit more, he has nine goals and four assists. Adjusted per90, it's the fourth most of any player in the league.

Frankly, even with Palmer, Olise is a player too good not to go for. His versatility as a winger but also No.10 blends well with the former Manchester City academy star, and you can never have too much of a good thing.

If nothing else, signing Olise would keep him away from rivals. Nobody wants to see how Manchester United will ruin him or the shackles that Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola would put on him. Pochettino, on the other hand, is excellent at freeing up his forwards to take control of situations and Olise doesn't need a second invitation.

If losing an attacker is what it takes then it's not a bad price either. Chelsea's current options need experience and regular game time. For any coach trying to push them on it's hard, even with the recent improvements, to seethe current group getting them there next season. Olise would change that.

From one French mercurial talent to another. If Olise's future is up in the air Kylian Mbappe's can only be described as buried. On Friday he confirmed the news that everyone was already aware of.

"Hi everyone, it's Kylian," he started a video message to fans in a way that suggested he wasn't the most famous person in France. "I wanted to speak to you. I always said that I would speak to you when the time comes and so I wanted to announce to you all that it's my last year at Paris Saint-Germain." Stunned silence? Not so much. Most people probably already thought this had been made official.

"I will not extend and the adventure will come to an end in a few weeks. I will play my last game at the Parc des Princes on Saturday. It's a lot of emotions."

Although it is not 100% confirmed that the 25-year-old will be joining Real Madrid, it's all but. Nevertheless, this saga which started with a teenager moving for over £200million has drawn on for long enough, is drawing to a close. says: Mbappe arrived at PSG in the same summer Chelsea celebrated winning their last Premier League title. Some time has passed since, but only one of Chelsea and Mbappe have gone on to lift the Champions League in the mean time.

Mbappe has gone on to become PSG's all-time top scorer, the player with the most goals at the Parc des Princes, a World Cup winner and a two-time Golden Boot winner too. Despite all of the clamour and attention he got in England with moves to Liverpool and Chelsea mooted at points, even more recently Arsenal, it was never really on the cards.

This move to Madrid has been more inevitable than Eden Hazard going the same way. Besides, Mbappe is a player to be admired from afar. The joy of him being on a football pitch and turning on the burners like a video game character is the debate that comes with it.

'Erling Haaland won't be able to score as many goals in England as he did elsewhere' people once said. 'Lionel Messi couldn't do it in our league' harped others. We can be pretty confident that Mbappe, already a generational great individual, would be pretty good here as well.

Nobody needs to see it up close. No Premier League side (especially not Chelsea) needs to break the bank for this person bordering-on-mythological-figure.. The game has been fun for these years Kylian, but a pipedream for Chelsea fans is a pipedream.