This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
According to reports from Football Insider, Leeds United have been offered the opportunity to sign Gary Cahill.
While this deal may not be financially viable for the Yorkshire club, they would be getting a proven top-class centre-back if they did sign him. He’s won two Premier League titles as well as a Champions League, while also being capped 61 times for England.
More importantly, he would be able to offer Marcelo Bielsa’s side the one thing that cost them promotion last season.
In the 2018/19 campaign Leeds fell at the final hurdle in their quest to return to the Premier League.
The Whites headed into the playoff semi-final second leg against Derby with a 1-0 advantage, but they eventually lost the game 4-2 and were condemned to another season in the second tier.
In that game, the Whites were let down by their two centre-backs losing their heads and lacking any composure. Gaetano Berardi was sent off for an inexplicably stupid second yellow card, and Liam Cooper gave away a silly penalty to hand Derby their third goal having already been involved in a misunderstanding with goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
The occasion seemingly got to Cooper and Berardi that day, and one thing that is for certain is that Cahill wouldn’t have struggled under the pressure in the same way.
We’ve seen the former England international time and time again step up when the pressure is on for club and country, and there may be no better example than in the 2012 Champions League final.
Cahill played in a back four which was missing two of their most important players due to suspension as Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry couldn’t play. Chelsea were massive underdogs that night, but Cahill was key in marshalling the defence that kept Bayern Munich at bay as the Blues drew 1-1 and eventually won on penalties.
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The 33-year-old has shown on the biggest of stages that he has what it takes, and while Leeds were let down last season by a lack of composure and experience, the former Blues captain would bring both of those things in abundance.