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Guehi making his case for England's defence
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Dan Fitch
Marc Guehi has won seven caps for England
Marc Guehi has won seven caps for England

Marc Guehi has another chance to audition for a starring role at Euro 2024. 

There are not many starting positions in Gareth Southgate's England team that are still up for grabs but centre-back is one of them. 

With John Stones and Lewis Dunk both injured, the Crystal Palace defender is essentially guaranteed action in the Three Lions' upcoming Euro 2024 qualifying matches. 

Ahead of England's game with Malta this evening, we take a look at Guehi's case for a place in the back four. 

Maldini mindset

Many players look to stand out in order to attract the attention of an international manager but as Guehi explained this week, he prefers to go unnoticed. 

He said: "I think [Paolo] Maldini said something like, 'if you have to make a tackle, you weren't in the right position in the first place'.

"I think if a defender can go in a game and seems to be doing absolutely nothing, then he is doing absolutely everything right. 

"Obviously there are times when you might have to make a last-minute tackle because of whatever is happening in the game. 

"But if I can avoid being seen in a game, as crazy as it sounds, I am doing my job." 

With Southgate being a former central defender himself, Guehi is fortunate to have an international manager who understands the role better than most. 

Fresh competition

Guehi is pushing the established central defensive partnership of Stones and Harry Maguire for a starting position at Euro 2024. 

The 23-year-old made his England debut in the 2-1 win over Switzerland back in March 2022. 

He now has seven caps for his country and though the Ivory Coast-born defender faces a battle to be a starter next summer, a place in the squad looks a certainty. 

England have lacked central defensive depth in recent years but when asked about his chances of breaking into Southgate's team, Guehi highlighted the competition that now exists. 

He added: "It is hard to even think about that [starting at the Euros] just because there are so many top players here. 

"To even try and put your name wherever is difficult. Ezri [Konsa] has been called up. A top player. 

"Fikayo [Tomori] is always here, obviously Harry. John will come back. There are so many players, so it is hard to imagine. 

"Just coming here inspires me. There is competition all over, in every position. As far as being a centre-back, I try to improve every time I come here." 

Marc Guehi has impressed at Crystal Palace this season
Marc Guehi has impressed at Crystal Palace this season

Third choice

Guehi's comments betray his modest nature. As much as there is more competition for places, he seems to be Southgate's third-choice central defender. 

The Chelsea academy graduate started in the away Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and Ukraine. 

With worries over Maguire's lack of football at Manchester United having eased, the 30-year-old is favourite to partner Stones. 

Yet if either player is injured or suffers a loss of form, then Guehi is a reliable option to step in. 

With the Palace centre-back still relatively young, he has plenty of time to establish himself as an England starter. 

A move to a club playing in Europe could help, though it is hard to imagine Guehi being in any rush to force one through. 

Like his role model Maldini, this is a player that relies on being in the right place at the right time.


Marc GuehiCrystal PalaceEnglandEuropean Championship
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