Marc Guehi, EPL Rookie of the Year

We created a new methodology to find young and promising talent within the Premier League, whittled down a 12-man shortlist of nominees and then asked for your help in deciding a winner. Check out more about premier league as we go through this award.

Our first-ever Rookie of the Year… is Marc Guehi.

Listen to Marc Guehi speak, watch him play, spend time in his presence, and his calm, considered and measured demeanour is immediately striking.

It is no surprise that he was schooled through Chelsea’s Cobham academy. Producing talented footballers is one thing — to instil confidence and assuredness, particularly when speaking in public, is another.

He considers himself "miles off" being the best defender in the Premier League, but after his debut season in the division following that summer move from Chelsea, he already stands out among his peers.

"It’s the right answer," his Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira said with a laugh when told of those words before the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea last month. "It really tells you what kind of person he is — and he means it."

There were 42 appearances in all club competitions, including 36 league starts, and a first senior England cap.

There will undoubtedly be many more to come for a player who was born in Ivory Coast before his family moved to the UK when he was a baby.

Alongside central defensive partner Joachim Andersen, he recorded five successive home clean sheets in the final two months of the season, while his ability to carry the ball out from the back and his leadership skills are vital characteristics that made him a mainstay of this side in such a short space of time — and saw Guehi take 25.4 per cent of your votes.

Stepping up from playing the previous season and a half on loan in the Championship with Swansea City has seemed so simple for him.

Already having deputised as captain on occasions, should he remain at Palace for the foreseeable future it is easy to see that becoming a more permanent arrangement.

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