Miguel Delaney predicted that Gary Cahill would be the Premier League flop of the season, in The Independent’s preview of the 2019/20 campaign.
There likely won’t have been too much expected of Crystal Palace’s signings, when it was seen that they had brought in Cahill, Stephen Henderson, Jordan Ayew and James McCarthy, while Victor Camarasa joined on loan.
Cahill has two Premier Leagues, a Champions League, two FA Cups, two Europa Leagues and a League Cup win to look back on, but he hadn’t made much of an impact for Chelsea the prior season.
That is because he played in just eight matches across all competitions last season, which included a mere 22 minutes of Premier League football from two substitute appearances.
With this in mind, Delaney suggested that the 34-year-old would be the biggest flop of the season, writing: “Gary Cahill – this is relative, though. I think Palace will struggle, and Cahill isn’t what he was.”
The 61-cap England international has definitely proven The Independent’s chief football writer wrong this season.
So far, he has played 20 Premier League games for Palace, completing the full 90 minutes in each of those, providing one assist.
The veteran has averaged 0.6 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 5 clearances and 1.2 blocks per game, showing his solidity at the heart of Roy Hodgson’s defence.
Looking at the team’s statistics also offers an indication of how solid the defensive unit has been – which he has played an influential role in ensuring – as only five teams have kept more clean sheets than the Eagles, while there are also only five teams who have conceded fewer goals.
Cahill may be approaching the end of his career, but he has shown that he still possesses the quality required to be an important player in the Premier League.
He has been far from the flop of the season – if anything, Palace completed one of the league’s most astute pieces of business this term by bringing him to Selhurst Park.