Why Gary Cahill is a smart signing on a free transfer for Crystal Palace
According to a report from the BBC, Crystal Palace have signed former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill on a two-year deal.
Gary Cahill, 33, was released by Chelsea at the end of last season after seven years with the club that saw him win eight major honours.
The centre-back had been a regular for the Blues since the 2012-13 season but made only two Premier League appearances last season. During his Stamford Bridge spell, Cahill won the Premier League twice, lifted the Champions League trophy and also won the FA Cup and the Europa League.
Crystal Palace had an inconsistent 2018/19 that saw them finish 12th in the table. Thus, it was important for them to show some ambition in the transfer market and after a very sluggish start, the south Londoners seem to have done very well in shaping their squad for the upcoming squad.
In terms of recruitment, the addition of Gary Cahill on a free transfer has been a masterstroke from Roy Hodgson and his club.
The Eagles heavily relied on the likes of Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins in central defence last season.
Both the defenders weren’t up to the mark as Hodgson’s side conceded 53 goals. It was important to reinforce the backline with another strong defender and Cahill is a good fit at the club.
Hodgson knows the player in and out from the duo’s mutual time in the England national set-up and that became crucial for Palace while acquiring Cahill’s signature.
In the 33-year-old, the Eagles will get a leader at the back, something Hodgson’s side lacked last season. The former England international is 33 and apparently past his prime, but he still can give a couple of quality years to the south London outfit.
The 33-year-old would offer experienced backup and could maybe even straightaway line up either with Sakho or Tomkins. He has won the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League across his career, meaning there will be a massive role for Cahill at Selhurst Park.
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The ex-Bolton and Chelsea defender is a proven Premier League material and his acquisition has undoubtedly bolstered Hodgson’s defensive options significantly.
There is no doubt that Cahill can transform the Eagles backline by potentially forming a strong partnership with Sakho or Tomkins. All in all, on a free transfer, Palace have bagged a real coup in the English defender.