With the January transfer window now open and in full flow, transfer negotiations have started at clubs across the country. One player who seems certain to move on during this 31 day long window is Bolton Wanderers and England defender Gary Cahill.
It is presumed that Cahill will depart from Wanderers in this window as his contract expires in the summer. Under-fire Bolton boss Owen Coyle has little alternative but to cash in on his prized asset now rather than risking losing him on a free in June.
Cahill has spent four successful years at the Reebok Stadium, becoming a fans favourite for his determined defensive displays. His consistent displays have led him to being one of the first names on the Bolton team sheet since his arrival in 2008.
Having already had a bid of a reported £7m accepted, English giants Chelsea are the outstanding favourites for Cahill’s signature, but after personal terms allegedly broke down between club and player other high profile clubs such as Liverpool are now looking to scamper the deal.
But who needs Cahill the most out of these two top teams? That is the question which needs to be uncovered.
Arguments saying Chelsea need Cahill the most
Well, where do you begin with Chelsea? After the summer appointment of a bright, young and new manager named Andre Villas-Boas, who was likened to Jose Mourinho, they were widely expected to challenge the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table but have flattered to deceive thus far. At the time of writing the Blues are as low as fifth in the table and as many as 11 points behind leaders Manchester City.
In recent seasons Chelsea have seemed unbeatable at Stamford Bridge but they have lost three home games already this season. The latest being that 3-1defeat to an out of form Aston Villa side which highlighted the defensive frailties the Blues currently have.
So surely the appointment of Cahill would shore up that dodgy looking back-line.
It is evident to see that John Terry needs a regular and consistent partner in the centre of defence. David Luiz has proven time and time again his vulnerability in the middle of defence and is more a figure of a liability than reliability while Alex is expected to depart Stamford Bridge shortly following his transfer request.
While Branislav Ivanovic has proved he is a competent partner for the England captain, many Chelsea fans would prefer to see him at right-back.
Terry himself has not covered himself in any glory so far this season, on and off the field. His focus maybe astray following allegations of racism against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand when the two clashed in the West London derby back in October.
Ferdinand is refusing to back down and is attempting to prosecute Terry for his actions, with a court date set for the 1st of February.
And that maybe why his form has deteriorated recently, Chelsea’s defence has certainly looked wobblier than jelly of late.
Liverpool, Chelsea’s fiercest competitors to Cahill’s signature, are themselves no strangers to racism issues this term.
Striker Luiz Suarez was recently found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and consequently will now serve an eight-game ban.
Liverpool received heavy criticism for the way they supported their player in the case, releasing two contentious statements as well as well as allowing their players to wear T-shirts in support of Suarez.
The feud between Liverpool and Manchester United continues.
If Terry is found guilty, he will surely receive a similar ban to that of Suarez’s and with the burden looming large on his personality (after previous off field experiences) and position as captain of club and country, his displays may deteriorate further. However, Chelsea fans will pray that Terry is excused and will look to their captain to get back to his influential best.
Therefore, the quicker Chelsea sign Cahill the better. Cahill and Terry have been Fabio Capello’s first choice pairing for England of late and if these two play together at club level they will develop an even greater understanding come the European Championships in June.
Arguments saying Liverpool need Cahill the most
After last year’s recuperation season, Liverpool have relatively impressed so far this campaign. Under the guidance of ‘King Kenny’ the Reds are still hunting around the top six and at the time of writing are currently on the same amount of points as Chelsea (34).
King Kenny is a long term admirer of Cahill and will do everything in his power to bring him to Anfield. Dalglish has added consistency and compactness to Liverpool since his re-appointment and for the first time in a considerable amount of time the Liverpool defence is looking rather sturdy.
A regular back four, five including goalkeeper Pepe Reina, has seen Liverpool concede just five goals in 10 Premier League appearances. Right-back Glen Johnson has seemingly rediscovered his form which saw him win many plaudits in previous seasons while Jose Enrique has been a welcome and reliable addition to a left-back position which The Reds had previously failed to replace since the days of John Arne Riise.
Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger have seemingly formed a formidable partnership in the centre of defence despite both struggling to adapt to the English game in their early Liverpool careers. They have played so well that Jamie Carragher, an iconic figure at Liverpool, has failed to kick a ball in the Premier League for two months. That in itself is no mean feat.
At the time of writing Liverpool have conceded the fewest amount of goals – just 15 in 19 games.
So would Cahill be assured a starting berth at Anfield? Well, after keeping the same back four for the last 10 games, in which they have lost just once, then it would seem a little harsh to break that quite brilliant record. They say that you should never change a winning team.
But football is ever changing and Cahill would undoubtedly be a welcome addition for the Kop.
Undoubtedly to cement his starting berth at this year’s European Championships, Cahill will want to join a club where he can show Capello that he is more than good enough.
At both these clubs, Cahill will be under pressure to perform as the burden of expectancy looms larger than ever.
Cahill is a class act. Since his debut for Bolton, they have won 30% of their Premier League games with him playing, compared to 17% without him. Does that or does that not prove his worth?
I believe that Chelsea are the club that need Cahill the most. For now and for the future. The Blues are some way off their former selves and are in a spout of disarray, so the introduction of Cahill can only be of greater benefit for the London side.
It seems a distant memory when Chelsea conceded just 15 goals in the whole 2004-05 season – a Premier League record.
For that reason alone, Chelsea fans and associates alike can only pray that personal terms are agreed between the player and club before its too late.
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