Marc Guéhi has put pen to paper with Crystal Palace in a five-year deal, becoming the third new arrival under Patrick Vieira.
The 21-year-old defender has experience with Chelsea in the League Cup, Swansea City in the Championship and at England between Under-16-21 levels.
Here’s what you need to know on our latest signing.
Guéhi has signed a five-year contract with the club, committing his services until summer 2026 – the same as Michael Olise.
He becomes Vieira’s third signing so far, and the third player to have signed a contract under the manager after Joel Ward penned an extension earlier this week.
Reacting to the deal, Guéhi said: “I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity for me to come to such a big club in the Premier League. I’m really excited to get going.”
Guéhi was born in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire - the same city Wilfried Zaha was – and moved to England aged one. He spent much of his early years in Lewisham and began his youth career with Bromley-based Cray Wanderers.
It didn’t take long for Guéhi to attract attention and, aged just seven, he was scouted by Chelsea.
Progressing over the following decade with the Blues, Guéhi did enough to stay at the club year on year and reaped the rewards with an immensely successful peer group.
Winning the treble with the Blues’ Under-18s in 2016/17, Guéhi signed his first professional contract in September 2017 and went on to help Chelsea scoop the quadruple – including the FA Youth Cup and league – that same season.
Guéhi’s Academy team helped to reinforce Chelsea’s image as one of the fiercest youth sides in England, as the centre-back played alongside the likes of Reece James, Tariq Lamptey, Billy Gilmour, Conor Gallagher and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
But it wasn’t just at club level where Guéhi enjoyed success with a noteworthy youth team, as the teenager won the Under-17 World Cup with England in 2017. Indeed, Guéhi captained the Young Lions to the U17 European Championship final that same year and scored in the World Cup final just months later.
These performances ensured Guéhi was rewarded with a taste of first-team football, and he began to be named in Chelsea squads in spring 2019 – being a senior substitute on four occasions in 18/19.
His breakthrough came in the League Cup against Grimsby Town as the Blues stormed to a 7-1 victory with Guéhi in the backline. He again earned professional minutes for Chelsea in a fourth-round defeat against Manchester United, and secured a loan move to Swansea City shortly after.
Guéhi fought to secure his place over a half-season with the Swans that was disrupted by the league’s suspension in March. Having returned from the pause, Guéhi played in Swansea’s final five matches and helped to clinch a sixth-place finish.
Play-off heartbreak came for the first of two times as Swansea lost on aggregate to Brentford in the semi-finals, but Guéhi went on to enjoy personal progression the following season regardless.
2020/21 was something of a landmark for the defender, who returned to Swansea on loan for a full campaign and played 45 games. He became recognised as one of the league’s brightest talents and helped Swansea climb further up the table with a fourth-place finish.
Swansea and Guéhi continued to go one better than 19/20 by reaching the play-off final, but football showed its unforgiving side once again as Brentford overcame them for a second time. Guéhi played in every minute of the three play-off matches.
Guéhi describes himself as “strong, comfortable on the ball and hopefully growing to be a leader one day.”
These traits are evident in his play, with the 21-year-old having captained England and made himself a mainstay for Swansea despite being one of the squad’s youngest players.
His attitude became clear when a post-match interview with him went viral across social media. Having earned a spot at Wembley and consecutive Man of the Match awards from Sky Sports, Guéhi humbly rebuked the accolades by saying: “The first time I was really surprised. Now I think it’s getting a bit ridiculous! Everyone was fantastic today, to a man. I could name everyone. For me to get this again, I don’t know.”
On the pitch, Guéhi is assertive and vocal, often heard organising his teammates with confidence. This confidence is reflected in his willingness to drive out from the back and distribute possession from relatively high up the pitch.