- Squad No: 24
- Position: Defender
- Age: 27
- Birth Date: Dec 19, 1985
- Birth Place: Sheffield
- Height: 6′ 2” (1.88m)
- Weight: 160 lbs (72.4 kg)
Having spent the first half of the 2011-12 season battling relegation with Bolton Wanderers, Gary Cahill ended the campaign as a Champions League winner.
Cahill had joined Chelsea in January in a £7 million deal, and initially struggled to break into the side under Andre Villas-Boas. However, by the end of the campaign he had shown he could perform in Europe’s premier competition, and he excelled alongside David Luiz as Chelsea held off Bayern Munich to become continental champions.
Cahill began his career with Aston Villa and had his first taste of the professional game in November 2004 when joining Championship side Burnley on loan for the remainder of the season. He was named Burnley’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, and was subsequently handed a Villa squad number for 2005-06.
He began to make his mark at Villa Park but fell out of favour under Martin O’Neill and was heavily linked with cross-city rivals Birmingham before plumping for a £5 million move to Bolton in January 2008, becoming a vital player for the Trotters and cementing his place in the England squad.
With his contract running down in 2012, Cahill headed for Chelsea, where he would help the club to glory after a difficult start. However, he suffered disappointment soon afterwards as a broken jaw ruled him out of Euro 2012.
Strengths: Committed and strong, Cahill is a no-nonsense defender who is good in the tackle and an aerial threat.
Weaknesses: Consistency has been a problem for the defender and his positioning has been exposed occasionally.
Career high: Helping Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012.
Career low: Failure to break through into the Villa first XI under Martin O’Neill left him in search of a move.
Style: Whole-hearted, powerful, a leader on the pitch.
Quotes: “Gary Cahill, I believe, can play for anybody. He has those qualities.” Bolton boss Owen Coyle, December 2011.
Trivia: Cahill suffered a blood clot in his left arm after a training injury which forced him to pull out of the home game against Fulham on February 6, 2010, and kept him sidelined for months afterwards.