25 May 2022 | 08:00 | Football
There is no doubt that Mark Gay’s decision to leave Chelsea last summer was the right one for his career, saying the FA Cup means everything to a club like Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old faces his former club at Wembley on Sunday and is trying to secure a rare trophy-free season for the Blues by knocking them out in the semi-finals.
Since Guehi’s move from Stamford Bridge to Selhurst Park, he has forced his way into England’s senior squad and has become one of the best young defenders in the country under Patrick Vieira.
A total of 30 starts in 31 Premier League games this season proves his desire to find a new home has paid off.
“I think the decision to leave Chelsea and come to Palace was the right one, in order to get game time and hopefully show what I can do,” Gerhi said.
“Coming here doesn’t mean I’m bound to play, I still have to prove myself, work hard, train hard, but I think the club will definitely give me that platform.
“Patrick definitely made me think about the game in a completely different way, both tactically and with the ball, especially since I’ve improved so much in my decision-making.
“It’s really hard at this level, it’s a level higher than a tournament, so every decision you make is crucial and can lead to important or decisive parts of the game. He definitely has something in that regard. helped.”
Gerhe signed a five-year deal with Crystal Palace last summer after spending a season and a half on loan at Swansea.
It ended a long-term partnership with Chelsea, who supported him as a child, with Cup king Didier Drogba serving as a “role model” for youngsters during his early years at Cobham academy.
Guehi is now looking to make his memory at Wembley, believing that making his England debut last month and playing for Swansea in the Championship play-off final in 2021 will prove to be “very rewarding” worth”.
He added: “It definitely helps calm the nerves, and [now it is] familiar environment. It just makes you feel a little more comfortable in such a big game.
“I’m a very calm person, but it’s an important occasion to play there. I just hope it’s game time and everyone is focused and ready to go.”
Gerhi, who has been a frequent Eagles captain this season, said facing Chelsea did not bring extra motivation, but he spoke about what the FA Cup meant to him and Crystal Palace, who were runners-up twice in the competition, most recently in 2016.
“Playing this game as a player is huge, it means everything. For a club like us, in and around cities like Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, it’s fantastic to be in the semi-finals,” Guehi said.
“There’s motivation in every game. I wouldn’t say because it’s Chelsea, because I grew up there and spent time there and it gave me any extra motivation.
“The fact that the FA Cup is a semi-final for Crystal Palace is a motivation in itself.”
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