‘Meteoric’: Former England manager raves about ‘top-class’ player Chelsea let go last summer

Aidy Boothroyd gave Chelsea quite a timely reminder of what they relinquished by allowing Marc Guehi to join Crystal Palace.

As quoted by the Telegraph, the former England Under-21 manager gave Guehi an extremely positive review ahead of his reunion with the Blues this Sunday.

The young defender is set to lead Crystal Palace out at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea this weekend.

It was just over 12 months ago that the centre-back was contesting the Championship play-off final with Swansea.

He can now call the fabled arch of the national team stadium his home, having appeared for Gareth Southgate in the recent friendly fixtures.

That is some rise for a player who Chelsea deemed not good enough to feature under Thomas Tuchel.

On the path to Guehi-tness

Guehi has not let the disappointment of being sold by his boyhood club affect him.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Quite the opposite, in fact.

He has reached new heights this season, starting all but one of Palace’s Premier League games.

Patrick Vieira clearly recognised not only the 21-year-old’s talents, but his maturity as well, naming him skipper on several occasions.  

“I can see why he is captain,” admitted Boothroyd, who coached Guehi at England under-21 level.

“He is zero problems, straight into it, does what is asked of him and has all the traits of a top-class modern centre-half – his speed to be able to read things, one v one he is good, defending crosses. 

“There are bits that need to be improved upon but the fact that he has risen so quickly, going on loan in the Championship and then straight into Palace’s team and in and around the England team is meteoric, but he has the temperament to deal with it.

“He has absolutely grasped it and gone with it.”

Chelsea versus Crystal Palace

Guehi’s journey could almost come full circle in two days’ time when he faces some of his old teammates in the capital.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea and Palace will battle it out for a place in the FA Cup final, aware this is their last shot at silverware before the campaign concludes.

Fresh from departing the Champions League, Tuchel’s men must have revenge on the menu.

Meanwhile, Vieira hasn’t visited Wembley competitively since winning the cup with Manchester City in 2012.

He and Guehi will be hoping to get their hands on the trophy, a sickening sight for Chelsea fans.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.