A south Londoner, Guéhi began his footballing life with Bromley-based Cray Wanderers after moving from the Ivory Coast as a child.
He says of his early years: “My childhood was very good. Two loving parents and my sisters came along. For them it was tough coming from the Ivory Coast and settling into a new country but for me I had everything I needed. There was always food on the table, always had clothes on my back.”
Before long, like many parents Guéhi’s mum and dad wanted to occupy their son, and football provided the perfect outlet for a six-year-old’s energy. Having joined Cray Wanderers the youngster was soon moved on by his coach, a Chelsea scout, and he stayed with the Blues for almost 14 years.
But after playing consistently over 18 months on loan to Swansea City, the centre-back felt he needed a permanent change.
“I came back on loan from Swansea and could see Chelsea were almost rebuilding the squad and trying to get a few players in, but for me it was really important to get some game time,” he says.
“It was important not to stop that progress, to allow me to keep going, keep playing and experience first-team football. So for me that decision was difficult, obviously, because I’d been at Chelsea for a very long time, but I think it was the right one.
“There were potential loan moves to different clubs but for my career I wanted to be somewhere permanent. I feel like I experienced the loan with Swansea being there for 18 months and I wanted to be somewhere permanent to keep progressing and see where I could go.
“My family have always played a massive part… Many other professionals, like Wayne Routledge who was at Swansea, played a big part as well. A lot of people I’m close with helped me make the right decision.”
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Publish date : 2022-11-05 06:00:00