On the outside looking in, Gary Cahill could be forced to leave Chelsea in January to find regular playing time.
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The veteran England centerback has been a key member for the Blues since joining from Bolton midway through the 2011-2012 season, going on to make 189 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the years since. This season, however, Cahill has yet to appear in a Premier League match, finding him outside of manager Maurizio Sarri‘s plans. In an interview with several English newspapers, Cahill admitted that he may have to leave Stamford Bridge this winter to get back on the field.
“I don’t want to jump the gun, but as things stand at this time, probably, yes,” Cahill said. “I’m not a guy who is willing to accept not playing. It’s all about playing. Your career’s short enough as it is. I’ve got maximum respect for everybody here at the football club, for the fans and all the players. But sometimes you have to make tough decisions to keep your career going forward.”
Cahill has been a bit of an enigma with Chelsea since he joined. He never truly lived up to the billing, being consistent enough to play at John Terry‘s level during their years together. While he did have some brilliant matches, he also had a few blunders over the years that cost Chelsea points.
That being said, in recent years, managers have looked towards other, younger defenders. Antonio Conte at times selected Antonio Rudiger over Cahill in his back three, and this season , Sarri has gone with David Luiz again in center defense. Ultimately, it leaves Cahill with very little chance of getting back on the field, unless there is a serious injury.
Having semi-retired from the England National Team, Cahill needs to find a club that is committed to him playing every week, knowing that he can focus entirely on the success of the team and not have thoughts in the back of his mind on his international chances.