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Cahill could leave Chelsea in January

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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.

Aston Villa will reportedly turn to ex-Leicester CB Huth

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Out with one Premier League champion, in with another?

Aston Villa is reportedly targeting Robert Huth to help fill the void opened by John Terry‘s move to Spartak Moscow.

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Younger than Terry and one of his former teammates, the 34-year-old Huth won the PL with Leicester City in 2016 but lost most of his 2017-18 season with an injury that cost him his spot in the lineup once healthy.

Villa is mid-table in points but near the bottom of the table in goals conceded (11). James Chester (ex-Hull) and center mid Mile Jedinak played center back in their last match, with Manchester United center back prospect Axel Tuanzebe at right back.

So, yeah, lots of out-of-position stuff there. Huth could help.

Report: Terry joining Europa League participants Spartak Moscow

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John Terry resisted calls to come out of international retirement during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but he’s going to play in Russia anyway.

The longtime Chelsea defender, 37, last played with Aston Villa in its ill-fated bid to return to the Premier League.

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Sky Sports in Italy has the report of Terry undergoing a medical with Spartak Moscow, and notes that Terry could face former England teammate Steven Gerrard in the UEFA Europa League when Spartak faces Rangers.

Terry was decent for Aston Villa last season, and still has something left in the tank. While this means he won’t be playing with Wayne Rooney at DC United or Ashley Cole with the Galaxy, it’ll be interesting to see how long he continues playing.

He does seem like one of those “lifers” who will be one day playing third division at 44.

Sources: John Terry being pursued by several MLS sides

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A veteran Englishman could be on his way stateside following last season’s disappointing finish in the English Championship.

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John Terry was a member of the 2017/18 Aston Villa squad that nearly rose to the Premier League, however, the team’s efforts were cut short in their promotion playoff final against Fulham.

Multiple league sources have told Pro Soccer Talk that several Major League Soccer teams have expressed interest in Terry, who is currently out of a contract.

Meanwhile, PST has also learned that Terry is being pursued by several upper-level English Championship and Scottish clubs.

The 37-year-old played 19 seasons with PL giants Chelsea, before making the move to Aston Villa last year.

Terry appeared in 32 league matches for the Villans, who are now in the midst of a financial rut after their failure to complete promotion to England’s top flight.

Derby County has been widely seen as one of the Championship sides interested in bringing Terry aboard due to the central defender’s relationship with new club manager and former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard, however, no deal has materialized to this point.

Three things learned: Aston Villa v. Fulham

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Fulham sealed promotion back to the Premier League on Saturday as the 10-man Cottagers beat Aston Villa 1-0 in the Championship playoff final at Wembley.

Tom Cairney‘s strike midway through the first half was enough to send Fulham back to the top-flight and leave Villa heartbroken.

Here’s a look at what we learned from a tense battle in the heat at Wembley.


FLUID FULHAM FIT FOR TOP-FLIGHT 

Since December Fulham’s fluid, attacking style of play saw them go on an incredible run of just one defeat in 24 games as they just missed out on automatic promotion with a defeat on the final day of the season.

The Cottagers’ silky play won them the playoff final as Slavisa Jokanovic’s men stuck to their playing philosophy with Tom Cairney pulling the strings in midfield, Aleksandar Mitrovic a handful up front and teenager Ryan Sessegnon floating about to cause havoc. They dropped deeper in the second half as Villa went at them but still had good chances and always looked dangerous on the break, even when they were down to 10-men after Denis Odoi picked up a second yellow card.

With their brave style of play, Fulham will add panache to the Premier League.

You can expect special things down by the banks of the River Thames at Craven Cottage as American owner Shahid Khan will no doubt splash the cash to take them to the next level after they dropped out of the big time in 2014. They will be desperate to solidify themselves back in the top-flight.

Fulhamerica is back and on that note U.S. men’s national team center back Tim Ream had himself a heck of a game at the heart of Fulham’s defense at Wembley to help seal the deal.


SESSEGNON SENSATIONAL

You can understand exactly why the biggest clubs in England have been chasing Sessegnon for many years.

The 18-year-old was the Player of the Season in the Championship and he was involved in the key moment in the final as the Fulham academy graduate has been the main reason they’re back in the Premier League.

Sessegnon finished the season as Fulham’s top goalscorer with 17 goals and there were many pushing for him to be included in England’s World Cup squad this summer. He has all of the talent available to flourish as a wide forward in the top-flight and after Matt Targett‘s arrival in January he has been pushed further forward from left back and has thrived.

There’s no doubt that Sessegnon is destined for big things but now he has the fairtyale end to a fairytale season for him at Fulham.


VILLA’S EXPERIENCED HEADS RATTLED

Villa’s experienced defense boasts Ahmed Elmohamady, John Terry, James Chester and Alan Hutton and in a massive game at Wembley they were rattled early on and Villa couldn’t quite drag themselves back into the game.

Steve Bruce‘s side had the second-best defensive record in the second-tier this season and they kept Fulham from opening them up for most of the first half but one lapse in concentration was exploited by Sessegnon and Cairney as Hutton stepped up, Terry was caught out and Villa conceded.

To be fair to Bruce’s side they dragged themselves back into the game impressively after a turgid first half display and were easily the better team after the break with Jack Grealish pulling the strings.

Grealish (who could well have been sent off) squandered two good chances either side of half time with a rising shot in the first half and then a header he should’ve done better with in the second, while the English playmaker also danced through Fulham’s defense before being denied by Marcus Bettinelli.

Villa have made significant progress this season under Bruce but you have to wonder if he and most of this Villa squad will be around next season, especially after a year of struggle off the pitch for Bruce as he lost both of his parents within a few months.

If Bruce sticks around then Villa will be one of the favorites for promotion next season.