The deal will see the England centre-half join the Blues in the January transfer window with him playing his last game for Bolton against Wolves on New Year’s Eve. Owen Coyle will be both pleased and sad to see the man leave, sad because Cahill is a classy player, full of strength and assurance, and yet to reach his peak in the game, pleased because he will take the fee now and he has a month to draft in some new players. It would have been harsh on Bolton for Cahill to have left in the summer without attracting a considerable fee for his services, one richly deserving of the player.
This signing is a huge bonus for Chelsea who are currently going through a very tough period of the season and are conceding a number of soft goals. Brazilian Alex has handed in a transfer request, David Luiz is a classy player but also a loose cannon and England captain John Terry has blown very hot and cold throughout the campaign.
Cahill will help to shore up that backline, he’s only 26 but has already got bags of experience in the Premier League. This will count for a lot as the Blues try to mount a genuine title challenge in the second half of the season. It’s also key to point out that Cahill has already played alongside Terry a number of times for England. With these two already knowing each other’s games it will help to add some stability to the back four.
But what of Bolton now? This loss comes at a time when the Wanderers are faced with their biggest task yet in the Premier League – second-bottom of the table, fighting for their lives and hoping to stave off relegation to preserve their 11-year top flight status. Cahill, a player who has given them nearly three years of fine service, his stock rising so swiftly in that time, will leave for a handsome fee. A fee which will help Coyle as he looks to bolster his squad.
He will need to immediately replace the departed but will also have some additional coin to invest in other areas of the park – a huge plus from this move. He needs a centre-forward capable of finding the net and a creative midfielder to fill the boots of Holden and Lee, both of whom are out with injury and are sorely missed.
This deal ends months of speculation about Cahill’s future, a player who has been much sought after since joining Bolton in January 2008. The Trotters will be quietly pleased that this has been sorted before the transfer window takes place, without having the distraction of the will-he-won’t-he chat which would obviously have been commonplace throughout the coming month.
For Cahill – this is the move that his undoubted star quality has earned. He’ll leave with a heavy heart but excited about the new challenge. Roll on January.
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