Central-defender Marc Guehi says that he is “really excited to get going” after completing his big-money move to Crystal Palace from Chelsea.
The Ivory Coast-born defender, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Swansea City, has joined the Eagles on a five-year deal after they agreed a fee, believed to be at least £18million, with the Blues on Thursday.
After starring so often for Swansea last term, Guehi was expected to force his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans at Stamford Bridge this season, but Palace put forward an offer that both Chelsea and Guehi thought was too good to turn down.
football.london understands that Guehi was presented with the offer of a new contract at Chelsea earlier this year, but he was unwilling to sign it because he felt that he would be sent out on loan once again, something he was keen to get out of the habit of doing.
Now, following the announcement of his move to Palace, the 21-year-old has spoke of his desire and determination to get stuck in at Selhurst Park and shape his career at Premier League level.
The defender told Palace’s club website: “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.
“I think it was the direction that the club’s taking, a really exciting direction with the new gaffer that’s come in. A lot of good young players are here and obviously such a stable club with top players really enticed me and made me want to come here.
“[Patrick Vieira] speaks for himself. The player he was, the way he conducts himself and even recently as a manager, he has a really good record. When he was at Nice he did some really good work there and I’m really excited to work with him.”
Although he was born in the Ivory Coast, Guehi moved to London at the age of just one-year-old, meaning he knows all about playing for one of the capital’s top Premier League clubs.
“[I was] born in the Ivory Coast, born in Abidjan, came here at the age of one and lived in England all my life,” he continued. “I grew up mainly in Lewisham, so I know the area. I obviously moved closer to where I was at Chelsea but I’m a London boy and know exactly what it’s about to be a London boy.
“When you’re from south London, it’s really exciting. You know what the feel’s about, what the fans are about and you have that real connection.
“[Selhurst Park] is one of the stadiums in the Premier League that has the best fans, always rocking there. A fantastic atmosphere, so I’m hopefully going to experience that one day.”
Guehi has become Palace’s third first-team signing of the summer, following on from the arrivals of Remi Matthews and Michael Olise at Selhurst Park.
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