Since Roy Hodgson’s departure from Crystal Palace at the end of the 2020-21 season, the Eagles have been proactive in the market for both a new manager and some new players.
First, they courted former Borussia Dortmund man Lucien Favre, who was about to take the job before negotiations failed, but the Eagles eventually got their manager in Patrick Vieira, who is 10 years from his last appearance as a player.
Proud and excited to be part of this new journey. I want to thank that @CPFC Board for their trust and thanks to the fans for the amount of support I’ve gotten over the past few days. Can’t wait to see you where it all started @premierleague. Come on you eagles 🦅❤️. pic.twitter.com/fa8BO6LZgW
– Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) 4th July 2021
Palace have also been very active on the player front as they bought out lower division Michael Olise and Remi Matthews, but their biggest new signing this year could be Chelsea’s Marc Guehi for around £ 18million.
Everyone should know about the 21-year-old by now. But how much do you really know about Guehi? FootTheBall walks you through 10 facts you may not know about the Chelsea Academy graduate.
1. EARLY MIGRANTS TO ENGLAND
Marc Guehi comes from the city of Abidjan, the economic and de facto capital of the Ivory Coast, but moved to England at the age of 1 when his then newly married parents decided to leave Africa in search of a new life.
2. STRICT CHILDHOOD
Surprisingly, as a boy from a city like Abidjan that spawned stars like Didier Drogba, football wasn’t his first choice, largely due to his strict childhood.
Guehi making his debut for Chelsea in the EFL Cup. (Courtesy Image: Chelsea / Website)
His father was a pastor of their local church, which meant his childhood was often more focused on religion and education than football, and sometimes Guehi was often found playing the drums in their church on Sunday mornings.
3. TO THE ORDER CHRISTIANS
Religion is still an important part of Guehi’s life as it was in his early days. In an interview in February he said:
“I grew up loving God and when I got the chance I still go to church with my family and my faith is definitely a big part of my life.”
“Faith is really all I have to do with; even in football where I try to be a role model and show God’s grace and glory through my life.
4. A YOUNG AGED LEADER
Guehi was a leader in Chelsea’s youth teams from a young age and captained the U18 team during their triple campaign in 2016-17.
Guehi celebrates after scoring for England at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. (Courtesy Image: FA / Website)
He was also the captain of the English team that won the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India and led a squad that included Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Angel Gomes, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith Rowe.
In his own words, Guehi says home education was a priority in the early days, not soccer, which Guehi said “got to the top (in line) as I got older”.
The 21-year-old started at Cray Wanderers at the age of six, where he was trained by a Chelsea scout. He joined the Chelsea youth system at the U-8 level a year later and has progressed through the ranks before making his debut for the Blues in September 2020.
In the second half of the 2019-20 season, he moved to Swansea for six months, where he played a key role in their playoffs after finishing sixth.
Marc Guehi at his presentation for the first time as a Swansea player. (Courtesy Image: Swansea City / Website)
Returning to the Welsh club for one more season for the 2020-21 season, he was ubiquitous on defense for manager Steve Cooper, playing every minute of the playoffs but lagging short after losing to Brentford in the final.
6. A VERSATILE VERSATILE PLAYER
Although he played mostly as a center-back for Swansea in his 18 months there, Marc Guehi can also play as a full-back on both sides of the pitch if the team so requests.
Guehi is naturally right-footed, but often plays on the left. And his left foot is not only used to stand, but can also find precise passes if necessary. This was mainly due to the individual exercises in the Chelsea youth system, which encouraged the academy’s players to play equally comfortably with both feet.
7. THE GUILTY TRIO
In the 2020 winter transfer window, Swansea City somehow unwittingly brought the group “The Three Musketeers” back into the club. Guehi was the most mature, but his partners Conor Gallagher and Rhian Brewster, who are now at West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United respectively, were the mischievous.
Guehi with his Brewster while on loan in Swansea. (Courtesy Image: Swansea City / Website)
All three started together in Chelsea’s U-8 tournament and continued their ties to England’s age group.
8. A LOW SOCIAL PROFILE
Unlike other footballers in this day and age, Marc Guehi is far from posting to the extent that he does not currently have an Instagram or Twitter profile.
Before moving to Crystal Palace, Guehi had an Instagram profile, but it has become inactive in recent days, which may be an indication that the youngster wants to stay away from the social world until the start of the season.
Guehi is currently unmarried and also single. He does not go with anyone, at least we can take that on ourselves, since there is no evidence of a partner in his public. The 21-year-old may want to focus on his football and be successful in his career.
But it is also possible that there is a secret relationship in his life that he has not yet revealed to the public.
10. LIFESTYLE AND NET VALUE
Guehi’s current fortune is unavailable as he signed a new deal with Crystal Palace just a few days ago. Prior to joining, he was on a youth player contract with Chelsea and these details were not disclosed by the club.
Guehi, who plays for Swansea in the championship. (Courtesy Image: Wales Online / Website)
On his return to Chelsea from Swansea City, Marc Guehi was valued at £ 9m but the Eagles had to raise double that amount to get the defender off Stamford Bridge. If the youngster continues his dazzling feats, that number could rise exponentially over the next few years, which will only help his growth and bring Palace a nice profit too.