This summer’s transfer window saw many talented players from Chelsea’s youth setup depart the club. The likes of Tino Livramento, Fikayo Tomori, and Tammy Abraham all left Stamford Bridge to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere. Among those departures, there is one other name that has been making waves recently in the Premier League, and that is the twenty-one-year-old defender Marc Guéhi.
Guéhi signed a permanent five-year deal with Crystal Palace in July, making him one of the six summer signings that were afforded to Palace’s new man in charge, Patrick Vieira. Since arriving at Selhurst Park, Vieira has made significant changes in Palace’s style of play and personnel. Many veteran players have departed from the club, making way for younger players who have allowed Vieira to play his expansive, structured, and energetic brand of football. And the results are there to be seen from Palace’s eleven matches in the Premier League so far.
After a slow start to the season, Palace have improved significantly. They are currently placed 10th in the league with three wins, six draws and two losses in 11 games. Palace’s highlight win of the season so far came after four back-to-back draws, a shock 2-0 win against Manchester City at the Etihad.
Since making the move to Crystal Palace, Guéhi has settled in Vieira’s defense impressively. The defender has been solid, robust, and unfazed at the back, along with Joachim Andersen. Guéhi was also impressive in Palace’s victory over Manchester City. So far this season, Guéhi has featured in all 11 league games for Palace, a sign that he has already gained the faith of his manager. Guéhi’s performances this season have earned him praise from Vieira, who complimented his work ethic and concentration and also backed him for a call-up from England national team, stating that he possesses all the attributes to become an international player.
Let’s analyze Guéhi’s stats in the Premier League this season to understand his attributes and strengths
Described as an athletic defender, who is calm and collected at the back, Guehi’s defensive stats this season have been brilliant. He has ranked highly in terms of successful defensive actions, defensive duels wins and loose ball duels wins. This season, he has helped his team to achieve four clean sheets. He has averaged more than three interceptions per match while also averaging upwards of nine recoveries.
Guéhi’s pass map indicates the areas of the pitch where he attempted to deliver his passes this season. He is a calming influence on the field, who has the potential to be a leader and a captain. He has averaged more than 59 passes per match this season with impressive passing accuracy. Guéhi has also delivered multiple threatening forward passes into the opposition’s box.
Perhaps his most impressive attribute is his level-headedness while playing out from the back. Guéhi’s pace and strength allow him to cover ground quickly. His awareness and reading of the game have also improved in recent years, allowing him to position himself in important spaces in the defense. So far, Vieira has mostly employed a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Guéhi has been a consistent feature in the left centre-back role. His heat map further highlights his activity on the left side of Palace’s defense.
Guéhi is one of the best forward passing centre-backs in the league this season. He has made 221 accurate forward passes this season which is the third-highest in the league, while he has also averaged more than 18 accurate forward passes per match.
Guéhi’s performances for Palace this season have earned him a spot in Vieira’s starting eleven consistently. He is slowly becoming one of Palace’s most dependable players. It should also be noted that the current season is his first in the Premier League, which further highlights that he has matured at an impressive speed. His stats and performances indicate that he will be a mainstay in Palace’s defense for the foreseeable future.