Marc Guehi exclusive interview: Crystal Palace defender on Chelsea ‘hurt’, Premier League adaptation and England | Football News


Rising up within the south London borough of Lewisham, soccer was only a pastime for Marc Guehi. One thing to get pleasure from on the weekends, not something he envisaged making a profession from.

At residence, education and religion got here first. That was the message from Guehi’s mother and father, who introduced him to London aged one from the Ivory Coast. They have been unwavering, even after he was scouted by Chelsea at U8 degree, taking part in for native Bromley-based membership Cray Wanderers.

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It’s these values which have helped to maintain Guehi grounded in a 12 months that has seen him turn into a Premier League common with Crystal Palace and an England worldwide.

“There is a precedence in life,” Guehi completely tells Sky Sports activities forward of Crystal Palace’s Monday Evening Soccer encounter towards Liverpool, “you’ve got received your loved ones, you’ve got received your morals as nicely.

It harm quite a bit simply because I used to be there for such a very long time. It is such a unique feeling leaving there and never going again to the place you’ve got been for therefore lengthy. However in an effort to develop, typically you must take the exhausting selection and take the exhausting path typically.

Marc Guehi on leaving Chelsea

“For my mother and father once they mentioned put education first, that was actually vital as a result of we did not understand how far soccer might take us, or if it was the proper avenue for us to take on the time.”

It was not till in a while, at round 15 years outdated, that Guehi realised he might make one thing from soccer. “I simply listened to my mother and father and did what I needed to do,” he says, “after which issues occur in life the place you are taking your personal path and find yourself taking part in for Chelsea and going proper the best way by.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win towards Crystal Palace within the Premier League.

Guehi’s modesty shines by as he speaks to Sky Sports activities at Crystal Palace’s sun-soaked south London coaching floor. “I do not keep in mind being higher than anyone”, he says of his time at Cray Wanderers as a teen.

He confirmed sufficient to persuade Chelsea he was well worth the funding, although.

Overcoming doubt to succeed at Chelsea

Chelsea, Marc GUehi
Guehi was picked up by Chelsea at U8 degree

Guehi was a part of Chelsea’s record-breaking U18 workforce coached by Jody Morris that received a quadruple of trophies in 2018. Additionally in that aspect was Reece James, Conor Gallagher and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

A 12 months prior, he had lifted the World Cup with England’s U17s in India, scoring the Younger Lions’ fourth aim of the ultimate as they got here from behind to beat Spain 5-2.

Nonetheless, with all of those successes got here moments of uncertainty for Guehi. “I would not say it was clean”, he says of his pathway by the ranks at Cobham.

“There have been instances once I undoubtedly felt like I should not be right here. Generally you could have doubts in your head. Fortunately, I had a supportive household, good individuals round me to assist me to maintain going and maintain having fun with what I do.”

Marc Guehi
Guehi confronted Man Utd in his closing Chelsea look

Guehi was handed two begins within the Carabao Cup by Frank Lampard in 2019, however they’d show to be his solely senior appearances within the blue of Chelsea.

A mortgage transfer to Swansea – and a reunion with former England U17 head coach Steve Cooper – materialised at the beginning of 2020. Guehi’s two spells in south Wales have been finally the catalyst for his eventual departure from Chelsea.

‘Taking the exhausting path’ out of Chelsea

Marc Guehi
Two mortgage spells at Swansea gave Guehi his first actual style {of professional} soccer

A style {of professional} soccer had given Guehi readability over his future.

“It is nice to undergo the ranks on the youth workforce and play these video games,” he mentioned, “however if you go on the market, and also you’re taking part in for one thing, taking part in for followers, taking part in for 3 factors and it is actually vital.”

Guehi made his intentions clear to Chelsea and an £18m transfer to Palace was sanctioned in the summertime of 2021. The boy from Lewisham was returning to south London.

He was additionally leaving the place he had known as residence for 14 years.

“It harm quite a bit simply because I used to be there for such a very long time,” he mentioned. “It is such a unique feeling leaving there and never going again to the place you’ve got been for therefore lengthy. However in an effort to develop, typically you must take the exhausting selection and take the exhausting path typically.”

Guehi has turn into some of the spectacular passers from deep within the Premier League

Chelsea might have been keen to let Guehi go, however they knew his worth. The deal for the centre-back included future sell-on incentives and an identical clause. There was no doubting his potential.

Discovering the ‘proper place’ at Palace

Patrick Vieira’s thrilling venture at Palace enticed Guehi to return to south London final 12 months

Making the choice to depart Chelsea was powerful. Selecting Palace, although, proved a extra easy job for Guehi.

“I felt, coming off the again of taking part in so many video games at Swansea, I simply needed to hold on my growth,” he says. “I felt like Crystal Palace was the perfect place for me to go and do this.

“They’re providing Premier League soccer, and I am coming to a membership that is so steady throughout the Premier League.”

He would arrive as head coach Patrick Vieira’s third signing of the summer season, as he started to overtake the ageing squad he had inherited from Roy Hodgson with promising children.

“Clearly, with the supervisor coming in and so many modifications occurring on the membership, I felt it was the proper place for me to return to,” provides Guehi.

The defender’s first season at Selhurst Park would present simply how proper he was.

Adapting to the Premier League

Vieira had no apprehension about throwing Guehi straight in to the first-team – even with out Premier League expertise.

He shortly grew to become an integral a part of a Palace aspect that comfortably completed twelfth and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, forming a strong partnership with Denmark worldwide Joachim Andersen at centre-back.

Guehi was ever-present for Palace, beginning in all however two of their 44 matches final season. He additionally established himself as one of many division’s greatest distributors, rating within the prime 10 for ahead passes and passes accomplished.


Marc Guehi passing
Marc Guehi passing

Requested how he rated his first season within the Premier League, Guehi’s modesty was evident as soon as once more.

“I assumed my particular person performances have been okay,” Guehi mentioned. “I do not need to – I do not like going overboard, however I assumed they have been okay.”

Few can boast a temperament so measured at 22 years of age, Guehi is clearly simply getting began.

Residing a quiet life away from social media

Guehi made his mark at Palace in his first season

Adapting to the lifetime of a Premier League footballer will be powerful for the perfect of gamers. The elevated scrutiny, fame and workload is sufficient to overwhelm anybody.

Guehi has not been drawn to the lifetime of stardom, although. He retains his head down and tries to drown out the noise.

“I am residing a quiet life,” he says. “I simply come to coach, play and attempt to do the perfect I can. I feel I am coping with it fairly nicely.

“I am not on social media, so I do not actually see something anybody says about me.”

Guehi reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup with Palace final season

Requested to elucidate, he provides: “I had it earlier than once I was a bit youthful. I did it as a result of I needed to be extra productive round the home, and stuff like that.”

Few younger footballers share Guehi’s maturity. It’s a high quality which has not gone unnoticed by Palace boss Vieira, who has no downside entrusting the younger defender with the captain’s armband.

Being a pure chief: ‘I simply attempt to be myself’

Patrick Vieira’s thrilling venture at Palace enticed Guehi to return to south London final 12 months

It was Guehi who led Palace out on the opening evening of the Premier League towards Arsenal final Friday within the absence of Luka Milivojevic. “It is a privilege to have that duty at such a younger age,” he mentioned.

Guehi was additionally named captain of England’s U21s in September by head coach Lee Carsley.

Management comes naturally to Guehi. However what sort of chief is he?

“I do not attempt to be this chief or an enormous determine,” says Guehi. “I simply attempt to be myself, and I feel that is the place it comes from.

“I attempt to do what’s vital for me first and ensure what I am doing is correct. I feel if individuals comply with that, that is actually good.

“However I would say I am fairly personable. I attempt to check out individuals and see in the event that they’re okay, and stuff like that.”

Guehi is displaying all of the traits that England supervisor Gareth Southgate is on the lookout for.

England and the World Cup

England's Marc Guehi during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between England and Hungary at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Guehi has three England caps to this point

Guehi has been picked for the 2 newest England squads. signal for the defender and his probabilities of going to the World Cup in Qatar in November. He is aware of precisely what’s required.

“It is clear if you find yourself there, what they’re on the lookout for,” says Guehi. “You already know they’re on the lookout for gamers to be taking part in at a excessive degree and constantly week in week out. I assume it then makes their selections quite a bit simpler.”

There was no dialog with Southgate concerning the World Cup, in response to Guehi. He is targeted on the issues inside his management. “Crucial is Palace,” he mentioned.

However even the point out of going to the World Cup with England is sufficient to make him mild up.

“It might be the perfect feeling ever,” Guehi mentioned. “Not many individuals get to say that they’ve accomplished one thing like that, and so it might be an enormous achievement and big privilege to characterize my nation.”

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