Ex-Chelsea Star Embarrasses The Club With Every Game He Plays

BLANKENHAIN, GERMANY – JUNE 29: Kobbie Mainoo of England controls the ball alongside teammates … [+] Jarrod Bowen and Marc Guehi during a training session at Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land on June 29, 2024 in Blankenhain, Germany. (Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

The FA via Getty Images

There have been few reasons for excitement for an England team muddling its way through Euro 2024 but at the heart of the Three Lions defence is a notable exception.

Pre-tournament center half had been highlighted as an area of concern with injury depriving manager Gareth Southgate of his longstanding favorite Harry Maguire and posing the question: who would be chosen to replace him?

Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi would not have been the name on everyone’s lips given his team battled relegation for most of the campaign and conceded 58 goals.

But the youngster has been a revelation in Germany slotting in seamlessly and even bailing out the more experienced Kieran Trippier from time to time.

The Londoner is relishing his role beside John Stones and spoke with confidence ahead of the last-16 game against Slovakia, brushing aside media criticism of manager Gareth Southgate.

“Everyone is behind the manager and we have a really close tight-knit group just focused on the next game. Everyone appreciates him, especially me,” he said.

“He gave me my debut for England and he’s showed so much confidence in me. I am really grateful and I’m sure the rest of the team is as well.”

Despite some uninspiring performances, Guehi was determined that the side was in a good place.

“It is a calm and focused camp. Everyone is just focused on the next task at hand,” Guehi said.

“I think what builds confidence is togetherness and performances. We haven’t lost a game yet. It’s important for us to control what we can control.”

As happily as observers in south London have watched Guehi’s performances their star’s imposing presence will have caused anguish in the west of the city at his old club Chelsea.

This after all was for so long their man. Guehi joined the Blues as a seven-year-old and was part of an impressive crop of youngsters to come of age at the turn of the decade.

But unlike Reece James or Conor Gallagher, the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities for Chelsea never arose.

Despite an impressive loan spell with Swansea City Guehi was sold to Crystal Palace for $22 million.

He was one of several signings made by exciting young manager Patrick Viera as he attempted to inject some young blood into the South London outfit.

The move reaped dividends for Guehi almost immediately with the youngster making his first England appearances less than a year into his Crystal Palace career.

Ahead of an FA Cup semi-final against his old club he reflected on his decision and was sure it was correct.

COLOGNE, GERMANY – JUNE 25: Marc Guehi of England during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match … [+] between England and Slovenia at Cologne Stadium on June 25, 2024 in Cologne, Germany.(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Getty Images

“I thought the decision to leave Chelsea and come to Palace was the right one in order to get that game time and hopefully show what I can do,” added.

“Coming here didn’t mean it was going to be a given that I would play — I still had to prove myself, work hard, train hard, but it was definitely the club I thought would give me the platform to do so.

“Patrick’s definitely got me thinking about the game in a completely different way, both very tactically and on the ball especially because I have improved a lot in my decision-making.

“It is really hard at this level, a step up from the Championship, so every decision you make is a vital one and can lead to an important or decisive part of the game. He has definitely helped in that aspect.”

Chelsea reportedly has included future sell-on incentives and the ability to match any future offers for Guehi as part of the deal to let him leave, but it’s impossible not to think how much better the Blues would have been keeping him in West London.

Chelsea’s defense last season saw Axel Disasi or Benoit Badiashile partnered with 39-year-old Thiago Silva, neither has ever even been close to performing at the level Guehi has shown at the Euros.

Dismal defensively it was a season to forget for the Blues.

And whilst both Manchester United and Liverpool are now being linked with a transfer for the Crystal Palace center half the Blues would be lucky to find any elite-level buyers for the defenders on its first-team roster, except the injury prone Wesley Fofana.

As Guehi continues to demonstrate his ability to deal with the substantial pressures that wearing the Three Lions shirt the likelihood Chelsea will have to spend big to bring him back or watch the Palace star move elsewhere for a large sum increases.

Were it a one-off that would be acceptable, but he joins a long list of Chelsea youngsters who’ve established themselves elsewhere after being ousted.

It should be a source of serious embarrassment for a club that has spent over a billion dollars recruiting the best talent in world soccer that at Euro 2024 one formerly from its own roster it dismissed has established himself as a world beater.

Related Articles

Back to top button