Chelsea would be quite wise to promote this talented 20-year-old on-loan ace to the first-team next year

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Why Chelsea promoting Marc Guehi to the first-team would be ideal

According to The Atheltic, Chelsea are keeping a close eye on loan starlet Marc Guehi with a view to promoting him to their first-team set-up next season. 

The 20-year-old rejoined Swansea City on loan this past summer after spending the second half of the previous campaign on loan at the Liberty Stadium. Guehi is set to spend the entirety of the 2020-21 season in the Championship with the promotion-chasing Swans before joining Frank Lampard’s side for pre-season training next summer. (h/t The Athletic)

Guehi’s impressive displays in the second tier have convinced the Blues hierarchy that the centre-back has a future at Stamford Bridge. However, a concrete decision on whether he is ready to make the step-up to the first-team or is in need of another loan move will be made when he returns to West London at the end of the season.

Profile

Born in Ivory Coast, Marc Guehi emigrated to England at a young age and started his footballing education in the youth ranks of London-based outfit Cray Wanderers. He was scouted and signed by Chelsea in 2007 and went on to represent the Blues across various age-groups, featuring for the U-23s in the PL 2. 

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SWANSEA, WALES – OCTOBER 31: Marc Guehi of Swansea City looks to clear the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Blackburn Rovers at Liberty Stadium on October 31, 2020, in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Guehi made his first-team debut for Chelsea in a Carabao Cup tie against Grimsby Town last season and made another appearance in the competition before joining Swansea City on loan in January. The centre-back made 14 appearances towards the back end of the previous campaign and played a key role as the Swans made it through to the playoffs.

The 20-year-old returned to the Liberty Stadium on loan for the 2020-21 campaign and has contributed greatly to Swansea’s stunning start to the season in the Championship. Guehi has started 15 out of the club’s 18 league fixtures so far, catching the eye with his consistently impressive displays at the heart of the defence.

Guehi has represented England across all age-group levels between U-16 and U-21 and was a part of the squad that lifted the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Guehi looks like a player with serious potential

Chelsea are well-stocked in the centre-back department, with five senior centre-backs currently competing for places in Lampard’s ranks. However, the futures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are far from secure. Both defenders have fallen down the pecking order this season after featuring among the mainstays last term and are expected to be moved on by the club in the coming windows. (h/t Express)

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SWANSEA, WALES – OCTOBER 27: Jacob Brown of Stoke City battles for possession with Marc Guehi of Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Stoke City at Liberty Stadium on October 27, 2020, in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Fikayo Tomori has also found regular playtime incredibly hard to come by after earning rave reviews for his first-team breakthrough in the previous campaign. The academy graduate has been linked with a loan move away from the club in January, casting doubt over his long-term future.

The emergence of Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva as the first-choice pairing at the back has worked wonders for Chelsea, who have only shipped 14 goals in 13 games after conceding 54 last season. However, Silva is hardly a long-term option at 36 and Chelsea could potentially have his long-term successor within their ranks in the form of Marc Guehi. 

The Ivorian starlet has progressed by leaps and bounds over the course of his loan spell at Swansea, proving his credentials in the highly-competitive surroundings of the Championship. Tomori made a successful transition from the second tier to Chelsea’s first-team last season and Guehi could also have the same privilege if he continues to rack up impressive performances.

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BRISTOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Marc Guehi of Swansea City attempts an overhead kick under pressure from Taylor Moore of Bristol City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Swansea City at Ashton Gate on October 24, 2020, in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Verdict

A loan spell at a Premier League club would ideally be the next big step in the development of Marc Guehi. Conor Gallagher, who played alongside the defender on loan at Swansea last season, has made an impressive step-up to the top-flight with West Brom this term. 

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Chelsea should consider nurturing Guehi down the same path considering that he’s still only 20, but it would be completely understandable if Lampard makes an attempt to accommodate him in his first-team plans next season. While the Blues should avoid fast-tracking him into the senior set-up, a genuine shot at the first-team could potentially prepare the defender for a bright future in West London.