Chelsea loan army: Keep, loan or sell? Marc Guehi (Part 7)

In Part 6 of this series, I broke down Jake Clarke-Salter’s career at Chelsea and discussed what his future in football looks like. For those who haven’t read the introductory piece to this series, a different player will be the subject of a new article every day. I began with goalkeepers and am currently in the process of working my way up the pitch, with each position group being sorted in order by the way in which they appear on the club’s website.

As I move on with the loan army series, I continue the deep dive into the defensive loanees with Marc Guehi. Guehi has caught the eye of Blues fans recently due to the wild success he’s enjoying during his current loan spell. His appearances for England in the U21 Euros have also seen his success rise. We know a lot about Guehi in the present, what about his past though?

What does Marc Guehi’s Chelsea career look like?

Guehi is unique because he’s one of the only members of the loan army up to this point in the series who did not begin his club career with Chelsea. Between the U6 and U9 levels, the defender spent his time wearing the badge of Cray Wanderers. It is here that his talents were put on display for the Blues, who quickly scooped him up in 2007.

Guehi’s academy career has been nothing short of exceptional—making a meteoric rise through the ranks and even winning a quadruple under Jody Morris—but it’s his young international career that has seen his career elevated. Despite being a defender, Guehi stole the show semi-frequently for his timely goals. He captained England’s U17 side to a runner-up finish in the 2017 European Championships. However, it was his impressive bounce-back in the U17 World Cup that impressed all spectators. Guehi, then just 17 years old, played in every game of the tournament. England went on to defeat Spain 5-2 for the trophy with Guehi on the scoresheet for the Young Lions.

His impressive outings at the academy level led to his inclusion in Frank Lampard’s squad during the manager’s first season in charge. Guehi made his professional debut with the Blues in a 2019 League Cup contest against Grimsby Town. The 19-year-old didn’t feature again for Lampard’s Chelsea, and subsequently began his loan army journey during the January transfer window in the following calendar year.

Former England U17 manager and current Swansea City boss, Steve Cooper, quickly secured Guehi’s services for the remainder of the season. Guehi made a total of 14 appearances for the Swans as they narrowly missed out on Premier League promotion. Cooper was insistent that should Guehi be loaned out again for the 2020/21 season, he wanted the defender in his side. The gaffer’s wishes were granted as the youngster was sent on loan back to the Championship. Guehi hasn’t disappointed.

The centerback has been a staple at the back for Swansea all season long. His 34 league appearances have put the Swans in a position to fight for promotion for a second consecutive campaign. Further, he’s caught the eyes of many important figures at his parent club and there are even talks of a potential stay in Chelsea’s first team next season. All in, Guehi has made 36 appearances since joining the Welsh side once again.

This begs the question: what does Chelsea do with Guehi this summer?

Verdict: Keep or loan

Guehi’s short-term future depends on the moves made by Thomas Tuchel and his staff. If the Blues allow a centerback to depart in the summer, Guehi must be considered before Chelsea spends its money in the transfer market. If a conclusion is made that he isn’t ready or there is simply a deal the club cannot pass up on, Guehi should be loaned out to a top flight team—preferably in England. He’s one of the handful of on loan players that looks like he can make a serious impact in the near future. Guehi will be sporting a Chelsea kit very, very soon.

Remember to check back with The Pride of London each and every day as I dive into the largely uncharted world of Chelsea’s famous loan army. Part 8’s subject is defender Ian Maatsen.