Chris Gunter Profile
|Born||Jul 21, 1989|
|Birthplace||Newport, United Kingdom|
Chris Gunter is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a defender for Charlton Athletic and the Wales national team.
Gunter started his professional career with Cardiff City, having come through the Welsh club's academy. He then moved on to Tottenham Hotspur, before spells at Nottingham Forest and Reading. Gunter joined his current club, Charlton, in 2020.
Having played for Wales at various youth levels, he made his senior international debut in 2007 and has since reached a century of caps for the national team.
Cardiff City years
Gunter started out as a striker, but transitioned to fullback at an early age. He made his professional debut in 2006, having been on the books of Cardiff City since the age of eight. His first senior appearance came on 22 August in a League Cup first round fixture against Barnet.
On 17 November 2006, he made his league debut in a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers, earning praise for his performance from manager Dave Jones. "Chris did the right things, let nobody down, and will only get stronger," he said.
Gunter's second appearance came in a disastrous 4-1 defeat to Hull City, but he bounced back and won the Football League's Apprentice of the Year award in March 2007.
In the British summer of 2007, Gunter was reportedly the subject of bids of £500,000 and £1million from Everton, which were both turned down.
At the end of the 2006/07 season, he broke Graham Moore's club record for the youngest player to win a senior international cap. The Cardiff City record had stood for 48 years.
After around a fortnight of getting the formalities tied up, Gunter signed for Tottenham Hotspur on 1 January 2008 for a reported transfer fee of £2million.
"We could have offered the boy three times the amount that Tottenham are going to offer him but he wouldn't have stayed," said Dave Jones.
"He has now moved on to a completely different level."
Transfer to Tottenham Hotspur
Gunter was signed in the wake of injuries to two left-back options at the time, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Gareth Bale.
He made his debut for Tottenham on 15 January in an FA Cup third round clash with Reading at the Madejski Stadium. He played the whole of a 1-0 victory for the North London club.
At the end of January, he played his Premier League debut in a 0-0 draw with Everton, playing 62 minutes before being replaced by Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Gunter played the last 17 minutes of a 4-1 defeat away to Birmingham City on 1 March. Spurs won the 2008 League Cup, but he was unable to play in the 2-1 final upset win over Chelsea due to being cup-tied.
Gunter struggled for game time in the 2008/09 season and was sent on loan to Nottingham Forest.
Ahead of the 2009/10 season, Gunter signed for Forest on a permanent basis.
Move to Nottingham Forest
Gunter's signing for a reported fee of £1.75million was completed on 20 July 2009 and he joined the club alongside Paul McKenna.
"When the manager told me at the end of last season that he was looking to bring me back to the club, I told him that if he could make it possible I'd love to come back," Gunter said, as per BBC Sport.
"I wasn't interested in moving anywhere else. There was never a temptation to look at other clubs who were supposedly interested."
His first season was successful and he made the 2009/10 Championship PFA Team of the Year.
On 15 August 2010, Gunter was involved in an altercation with Herschel Oulio Sanchez Watt, who at the time played for Leeds United, and was initially booked and then retrospectively banned for three matches by the FA for stamping on his opponent.
Gunter played for Forest until the end of the 2011/12 season in the Championship, scoring a total of two goals in 155 appearances in all competitions.
Spell at Reading
Gunter joined Reading, who had just been promoted to the Premier League, on a three-year deal on 17 July 2012. The transfer fee was reported to be between £2.3million and £2.5million.
He made 23 appearances in all competitions in the 2012/13 season, scoring once. Reading were relegated to the Championship, but Gunter remained with the club.
He was a regular in the Reading side until the 2018/19 season, when his game time began to decrease significantly.
In July 2020, Gunter was released by Reading upon the expiration of his contract.
Switch to Charlton Athletic
Gunter joined Charlton Athletic in League One on 8 October 2020, signing a two-year deal.
"Chris is an exceptional right-back with bundles of experience. I'm pleased to have that position tied down, he is definitely going to make us stronger," said Lee Bowyer, according to the Addicks' official website.
"His defensive qualities and experience are important and going forwards he is an athlete - he's very good in the final third. The way we want to play is always attacking and on the front foot and he fits that role perfectly."
Charlton narrowly missed out on the promotion playoffs.
Welsh national team
Gunter received his first call-up for the Welsh national team at the age of 17, describing himself as "absolutely staggered". He made his debut in a 2-2 friendly draw with New Zealand.
He remained a regular over the years and played every minute of Wales' heroic UEFA Euro 2016 campaign as the team made the semi-finals.
On 13 November 2017, he captained Wales for the first time in a match against Panama.
In a 1-0 friendly win over Mexico on 27 March 2021, Gunter became the first player to win 100 caps for the national team.
Gunter was a flatmate of former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and best man at his wedding. This despite Gunter's affiliation with Arsenal's rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
Gunter earned £22,000 per week for Reading in the Championship, according to Salary Sport.
In 2016, Gunter was reportedly unable to be best man at his brother Marc's wedding due to international duty with Wales at the European Championships in France. The Daily Mirror reported that he would fulfil his best man duties over Skype.