West Brom’s Alex Palmer could be ready to play Premier League football next season, according to the man who currently has him on loan.
In an interview with Lincoln City fansite The Stacey West, Imps’ manager Michael Appleton revealed that he expects the 24-year-old to be playing Championship football next season and, the only reason he would not be, is because a top-flight club have become aware of his qualities.
Palmer spent last season on loan with Plymouth, helping them to promotion to League One and keeping the most clean sheets in the division in the process. This weekend, on his Imps league debut, he pulled off a terrific double-save late in the second half to protect a 2-0 lead and earned a place in the Football League Paper’s ‘Team of the Week’ in the process.
Talking about recruiting Palmer, Appleton revealed not only was he physically imposing, but also a big character off the field.
“One of the biggest characters we’ve signed, or it looks that way, has not been in the building all that long,” said the former Oxford boss, starting his first full season in the Imps’ hot seat.
“Alex Palmer might only be on loan but he’s 6ft 4in, makes the goal look small, and he’s a big character too, around the dressing room and training ground. He’s absolutely not shy either, he always has something to say!”
“If he’s not the best goalkeeper in the division, he’s certainly in the top three and he’s going to have a good career in the game. If he’s not in the Championship next year, it will be because someone has taken him to be a Premier League keeper, that’s how highly I rate him.”
Palmer is likely to appear this evening for Lincoln as they take on Bradford City at Valley Parade in the Carabao Cup, with a tie against Liverpool the prize for victory.
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There is a real feeling of optimism around Sincil Bank at present, not least because of Appleton’s double-capture of Callum Morton and Palmer from former employers West Brom.
Palmer already has plenty of senior experience and has begun life in the sticks for City well, saving a penalty in their EFL trophy shoot-out against Scunthorpe, as well as keeping the clean sheet Saturday. Late Oxford pressure would have seen the Imps crumble last season, as they had a knack of conceding late, but Palmer and the Imps side held resolute.
Ryan Lowe has spoken of Palmer’s quality in the wake of his loan spell there and now the esteemed Appleton has added his voice to those claiming the stopper is in for a big career.