In the wake of his momentous decision to leave his hometown and boyhood club, Malo Gusto has provided insights into his early experiences as a Chelsea player and his unwavering determination to shine in the absence of Reece James. Gusto’s arrival at Chelsea transpired in January, although he briefly returned to Lyon, where he had honed his skills since the Under-14 level, on loan. His familiarity with Cobham due to a prior injury stint earlier in the year did ease his transition to some extent.
Nevertheless, transitioning to a new team, in a new league, and in a new country, is a substantial leap, especially for someone who only celebrated his 20th birthday in May. Remarkably, Gusto has already begun to feel at home within the Chelsea ranks. He credits this sense of belonging to the presence of several French-speaking teammates in the dressing room, as well as the positive and open communication fostered by manager Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff.
Gusto’s integration has also been aided by his involvement on the pitch, featuring prominently in all four games this season, with three of them seeing him in the starting lineup. Reflecting on his debut in the high-profile clash against Liverpool, Gusto beams with pride, noting that he was fully focused on contributing his utmost for the team during the match.
His impact extends beyond his debut, as evidenced by his two assists in the victory against Luton, which included a pivotal contribution to Raheem Sterling’s goal. Gusto regards this performance as a significant moment, but remains humble, recognizing that it’s just the start of his journey with the club. He expresses optimism about the growing cohesion within the team, underlining the influence of a top-tier manager, and emphasizes the shared aspiration to restore Chelsea to its rightful place among the elite.
Gusto’s adaptability to his current role as a key figure in the squad is not uncharted territory for him. Having previously dealt with similar scenarios at Lyon, where Leo Dubois held the captain’s armband, Gusto views healthy competition as a crucial aspect of his development.
When asked about what he brings to this Chelsea unit, Gusto articulates his commitment to putting in the effort, playing with passion, and leveraging his technical finesse to bypass opponents, score goals, and provide assists. His happiness both on and off the pitch, along with maintaining his physical condition, are key ingredients in his quest for self-improvement and reaching his desired level of performance.
Gusto’s opportunity to shine in the early stages of this season was unexpectedly granted due to an injury to Reece James. While he may not have anticipated such a prominent role so swiftly, Gusto was always prepared to fight for his place. He pays homage to James as the team’s captain and acknowledges his importance to both the squad and the club. Yet, Gusto is determined to seize this opportunity, showcasing his skills, quality, and unwavering commitment to excel as he dons the Chelsea shirt among football’s brightest stars.