Huddersfield Town have said a fond farewell to Kasey Palmer after welcoming Terence Kongolo as their first signing of the January transfer window.
It’s a shame 21-year-old attacking midfielder Palmer has been hampered by injury and unable to re-create this season the best of his form in blue and white stripes.
Palmer was a valuable member of David Wagner’s promotion-winning squad and rightly says the memories will live with him for ever.
But his recall by Chelsea does free up another squad place at the John Smith’s Stadium and leaves Town free to make loan signings from Premier League rivals.
With Wagner already moving smartly to snap up AS Monaco central defender Kongolo, 23, until the end of the season – remember this is a £13m, World Cup-playing full international from the Netherlands – then the emphasis for Town’s transfer-window business seems certain to shift.
A No10 would seem top of the list following Palmer’s departure, while another wingman to provide options would not be out of the question, especially with Elias Kachunga out for three months.
Some fans believe Town need another striker, too, but the consensus is that Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie need better service rather than extra competition.
On Palmer leaving Town, head coach Wagner said: “Kasey is a great character and we’d like to wish him all the best for the future as he returns to Chelsea.
“He was a big part in our successful promotion to the Premier League, but the hamstring injury he suffered made it difficult for him this season.
“He has struggled to hit his best level since his return to training and that’s why he hasn’t been able to earn a position in the team.”
It’s clear from recent selections that Joe Lolley has trained well and forced himself ahead of Palmer in the first-team pecking order.
The 25-year-old Lolley, just four years after playing for Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference, has now started for Town in the Premier League and is an option either on the wing or at No10.
That’s a remarkable rise for the Aston Villa fan who had a loan spell at Scunthorpe in 2015, but is indicative of the competition Wagner inspires and wants to see every day on the training ground at PPG Canalside.
Heading back to Stamford Bridge, England Under 21 ace Palmer had a special message for Town’s fans, who last saw him in the 2-0 defeat at Everton a month ago but will remember him as part of the winning play-off final squad against Reading at Wembley (he replaced Izzy Brown in extra-time).
“Unfortunately my time at Huddersfield has come to an end,” said Palmer on social media.
“I would like to thank everyone involved at the club, but most importantly the fans for their constant support throughout my time.
“The memories which I created here will stick with me forever!
“I wish the club all the best in the future.
“Looking forward to the next chapter in my career.
“All the best Terriers.”
Meanwhile, Town have recalled Jordan Williams and Rekeil Pyke from their loan spells at Bury and Port Vale respectively.
Meltham-based Williams, 18, has played 14 times for Bury having made his Town debut in the EFL Cup victory over Rotherham back in August. He hasn’t figured at Gigg Lane, however, for a month.
Pyke has made nine appearances for Vale, but his last was in November.