David Norris has offered his thoughts on whether or not Leeds should sign Gary Cahill.
The former Whites midfielder has rejected the suggestion that the club could pursue a deal for the out-of-contract centre-back. When asked about the possibility of the former Chelsea man arriving at Elland Road, Norris said that he is “on the way down” and urged Leeds to look elsewhere.
He told Football Transfer Tavern: “I’d say that he’s on the way down. I think he could still do a job, but it wouldn’t inspire me at this stage to bring a Gary Cahill in, they’ve got Liam Cooper, who’s got bags of experience, so I would be looking elsewhere.”
Victor Orta would be committing a howler if he decided to bring Cahill to Leeds given his performances for Palace last season and the wage packet he would be likely to pick up.
As Norris says, Leeds already have a player like Liam Cooper with experience and leadership qualities at centre-back. Marcelo Bielsa also has Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Pascal Strujik at his disposal at the heart of the defence.
Last season in the Premier League, Cahill averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.57 in 20 starts for Palace. This is lower than the scores each of the aforementioned Leeds quartet managed, with Strujik, Llorente and Cooper all recording 6.81 or higher and Koch on 6.59. Cooper especially stood out with a rating of 7.06 across 25 starts.
This suggests that Cahill, now at the age of 35, does not have the quality to make a meaningful impression on Leeds’ squad, given that these statistics are all across the same division, making it a reliable judgement of ability ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Last year, then-Palace manager Roy Hodgson praised Cahill’s character as he filled in as captain for the club in place of Luka Milivojevic. He said: “Well, since he has captained the team he [Cahill] has been fantastic.
“Now we have got Luka [Milivojevic] back, he may have to relinquish that captaincy, because Luka is our club captain, but I gave him the captaincy in Luka’s absence and he has been quite fantastic.
“How did he do it? That’s the man Gary Cahill, the character of the man.”
This shows that the 35-year-old could be a great player to have around the group and that there are some reasons for a potential addition. However, the veteran was reportedly on £76k-per-week at Selhurst Park and that is a substantial wage for a player who would seemingly only make an impact off the pitch. Therefore, Orta must avoid making a big blunder and leave Cahill to somebody else.