There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Bolton’s highly rated centre back Gary Cahill in recent months with a number of top Premiership clubs said to be tracking the player. The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been linked to the 24 year old and it’s becoming ever more likely that Cahill will make a big money move this summer. Bolton manager Owen Coyle has openly admitted in the past that Cahill is likely to leave the Reebok to enhance his career and he would not stand in the player’s way if a deal that was right for the club came along. The sort of transfer fee that is being mooted for Cahill’s signature is in the region of £15 to £20 million, so is Cahill worth that sort of money or is he being overpriced by Bolton?
What I have seen from Gary Cahill since he arrived at Bolton has been enough to convince me he is a class act. He is commanding in the air defensively and in an attacking sense, due to his prowess in the opposition box at set pieces. He is also strong in the tackle and is blessed with plenty of pace; basically he has all the attributes a top defender requires. Playing Champions League football at a top club would only aid his progression towards becoming a starter for England in the coming years. Cahill has proved himself at Bolton over the years and I have no doubt what so ever about the talent he possesses. Here comes the but, but, a potential asking price of £20 million does seem a lot.
Whether the price will discourage any potential suitors remains to be seen, but what is evident is that there seems to be a recurring theme with English players and over inflated transfer fees, you just have to look at Andy Carroll £35m, Shuan Wright Phillips £21m, Glen Johnson 18m, James Milner 18m plus Stephen Ireland and Joleon Lescott 22m. I personally don’t think any one of those five players was worth that amount of money, but it seems to be the going rate if you want a decent English player. I think it’s fair to say that with all the players mentioned above, their previous clubs didn’t want to lose them so they held out for as much money as possible and Bolton will do the same with Cahill.
Gary Cahill is a quality player and although I’m dubious that he is worth £20 million, when you look at the transfer climate for English players it could be suggested he isn’t overpriced at all. It’s also worth considering that the possible departure of Cahill will be a serious blow to Bolton and they are unlikely to find a replacement of his calibre. So a fee of the magnitude being bandied about may seem overpriced to others but as far as Bolton are concerned it will be what they expect if they are to lose their star player.
At the relatively young age of 24 years old, Cahill has a bright international future ahead and he is a top defender who will only get better. As I have been writing this piece I have been mulling over whether I would splash out say, £17 million, on him if I were I charge of Arsenal or Liverpool and I have come to the conclusion of yes. Maybe it is too much, but it’s the sort of price that you have to pay for top quality defenders these days, I’m sure if teams were chasing Phil Jagielka or Micah Richards it would be the same sort of price being talked about. Is Gary Cahill a genuine talent? Yes, is he overpriced? Maybe but as far as I’m concerned still worth buying.