Opinion: Southampton must sign Gary Cahill with Chelsea willing to loan defender out

According to a report by The Guardian, Chelsea are ready to loan out Gary Cahill during the January transfer window as a reward for six years of service, and he should be Southampton’s priority target in the New Year.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Blues captain has found first-team minutes hard to come by under Maurizio Sarri this term, with the majority of his game time coming in the EFL Cup and the Europa League – the 32-year-old has featured for just 21 minutes in the Premier League and didn’t even make the substitutes’ bench against Everton at the weekend.

The centre-back’s contract at Stamford Bridge is due to expire next summer and while the west London outfit usually insist on their players signing new contracts before a loan exit in order to protect their value, they are making an exception to the rule on this occasion because of what a brilliant servant the defender has been.

During his time with Chelsea, Cahill has won two Premier League titles, a Champions League, a Europa League, an FA Cup and a League Cup.

Why do Southampton need him?

Struggling at the wrong end of the top-flight standings for the second successive season, Mark Hughes’ men are crying out for a leader who can get the team organised and fire them up.

There will be no better option on the market than Cahill in the New Year, and having been Chelsea skipper and with the wealth of experience that he has, he would be Southampton’s most important signing in years.

The fact that he is available on a loan deal and then for free next summer means that the south coast outfit can splash out on wages to bring him to St Mary’s, and if they do get him it could prove to be the difference between staying up and going down.