Kyle Walker has warned youngster Cole Palmer not to get carried away after his impressive cameo in Manchester City’s Champions League rout of Club Brugge.
The highly-rated 19-year-old academy product scored a classy goal just moments after coming off the bench in the second half of City’s 5-1 win in Belgium on Tuesday.
It capped a memorable few days for midfielder Palmer, who briefly appeared as a substitute against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday before scoring a hat-trick for the under-21 team just hours later.
Walker, who also got on the scoresheet at the Jan Breydel Stadium, said: “Cole has shown glimpses of what he can do. He’s an exciting talent but he has to keep his feet on the ground.
“It’s a step in the right direction for him, it’s a big night for him and he needs to enjoy it, but (on Wednesday) he’s got training and he’s got to work hard and make sure he’s getting selected for the squad on Saturday.”
Walker was pleased enough with his own performance – and to score City’s third goal of the night – in a dominant win that lifted last season’s runners-up back above the Belgian champions to second in Group A.
The right-back said: “I’m going to take the match ball home, it’s coming home with me!
“It’s a a rare one. I didn’t have a Champions League goal until now so I’m going to take it, let the lads sign it and I’ll keep it in my house!
“Joking aside, it was important as 2-0 is always iffy. If they go and get one then our backs are against the wall a little bit but to get that one, be 3-0 up and get on the scoresheet was a good feeling.
“It gives the lads a bit of a safety net, we carry on and get the fourth and the game is kind of done then.
“I thought it was a thoroughly professional performance and we controlled the game well for the majority of it.”
Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne was also in the spotlight in his first club match in his native Belgium for more than nine years.
The 30-year-old has no particular connection to Brugge but received a standing ovation in recognition of his efforts for the national team when he was substituted and replaced by Palmer in the 64th minute.
Walker said: “I think Kevin has proved that he’s one of the best players in the world.
“He’s very proud to come from Belgium. I’m very close to Kevin and he’ll be over the moon with the reception he got. It’s fully deserved for what he’s achieved at club level but also what he’s done with his nation.”
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