"Now is not the time" – Azpilicueta quizzed on Chelsea future
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Chelsea could take Marc Guehi back to Stamford Bridge next summer as they have a hidden clause to re-sign the defender from Crystal Palace. Guehi came through the Blues academy before being sold to the Eagles for £18million.
The Chelsea academy has unearthed some absolute gems over the years. But many of them have departed the club without being given an opportunity to make an impact in the first team. Guehi became the latest youngster to find his pathway at Stamford Bridge blocked as the club decided to cash in on the ace last summer.
The 21-year-old had made just two appearances for the Blues but excelled during an 18-month loan spell with Championship side Swansea. Eagles boss Patrick Vieira was quick to snap Guehi up ahead of his maiden campaign at the helm at Selhurst Park. And the 1998 World Cup winner has been vindicated for his decision to sign the player.
Guehi has been a revelation this season and has started all but one Premier League match for Palace. His performances have helped the south Londoners climb to 12th in the top-flight table and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
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And the youngster made his England debut on Saturday as he starred in a back three alongside Wolves’ Conor Coady and Arsenal’s Ben White as the Three Lions defeated Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley. Guehi clearly has a big future in front of him at the top of the game, so Chelsea chiefs could be regretting their decision to move him on.
Guehi’s form for Palace could see a whole host of top clubs attempt to land the player. And, according to The Sun, if Palace accept a bid for Guehi, they would be compelled to accept an equivalent bid from Chelsea. The clause is expected to kick in next summer and would give the west Londoners a glimmer of hope of getting their hands on the star again.
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Chelsea have a habit of letting some of their prized assets leave the club. In 2014, the Blues sold Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg after deeming him surplus to requirements. But just 18 months later De Bruyne was back in the Premier League with Manchester City, where he has won three Premier League titles and become one of the best players in the world.
And in 2016, the Blues opted to dispose of Mohamed Salah, who joined Roma . A year later, the Egypt international moved to Liverpool, where he has gone on to become a superstar and win the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup.
Chelsea shelled out a club record £97.5m last summer to take Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, seven years after selling him. And they will surely have to stump up another huge transfer fee if they ever want Guehi to return to the club in the future after his remarkable rise to prominence.
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