For Crystal Palace fans, the summer brought some interesting player arrivals – few more intriguing than Marc Guehi. The England U21 international arrived from Chelsea and was seen as a truly intriguing piece of business. A loan spell at Swansea City had caught the eye to an extent, with Guehi doing enough for the Eagles to sanction a whopping £18m on the player. However, capturing a youth captain at international level is never cheap – especially not the Three Lions U21 captain. Guehi, though, arrived with no shortage of pressure on his shoulders.
So far, though, it looks like playing in the Premier League is an absolute doddle for the exciting youngster.
At only 21, he looked settled and in full control of the experience. The signing of a five-year deal should give Palace fans some peace of mind, too, knowing they will be almost certain to land a huge return on their investment down the line.
A hugely talented player with an interesting playing style, Guehi has slotted in at the back alongside Joachim Andersen and done a stand-up job. Palace fans and coaches are raving about the player, and it is very easy to see why.
Playing every minute of the season so far, he has become a key part of why Palace are enjoying a decent start to the season. Though the results are yet to truly turn upward, performances are on a strong curve and there is a clear development in how the Eagles are playing.
A large part of that comes down to the calming and composed nature of how Guehi plays. His ability to keep the ball and to play under pressure is so rare for a young English defender. He looks composed, comfortable, and in full control of his decision making.
Leading by example
The new England U21 coach, Lee Carsley, knows all about leading by example. The Ireland international was a standout player in his own career, a real force of nature in the middle of the park with Thomas Gravesen at Everton. The midfielder who was renowned for being a composed and controlling presence, then, can clearly spot a wee bit of himself in the new Palace defender.
Noting that Guehi is someone who “leads by example” and is “not a ranter and a raver”, Palace fans should feel pretty comfortable about what the future holds. The only real problem that Guehi has faced in a red and blue shirt was his mistake in the derby with Brighton. Though that was a poor moment it was one that can be easily built upon.
Alongside the arrivals of Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise, Palace have made three key permanent signings in the summer. They could become the backbone of a period of success for Vieira, or become the funds that builds a whole new team in the future.
Either way, the gamble that was taken on Guehi looks set to pay off handsomely. Having seen more than a few gambles fail in the last few years, this looks like an all-in win for the South Londoners.