7 million for a defender of Gary Cahill’s calibre is, in my opinion, an absolute steal. Here’s a player that was being touted for a big money move in the summer of around 18 million, and yet halfway through the season he’s now going for less than half that. The fact that he is also English just adds to my astonishment.
Now for the most part, I rarely believe any of the hype/dross/absolute fairytales that come out during transfer windows, but when I read that we were linked with Gary Cahill in the summer I thought there was an element of truth in there somewhere. Carra won’t be there forever, and Agger gets injured so often that he needs his own cover, so going for a young talented English centre back seemed to make sense. Then we brought in Coates as a new centre back and it appeared we had our next centre back sorted.
When Agger and Skirtel then started to play well together, so much so that Carra wasn’t getting a go back in the team I thought right fair enough we’re sorted for centre backs. I still had, and still do, my doubts over just how good Coates is. He seemed composed enough in his international games, but there is still that inexperienced part of him that sees him make mistakes. The pace of the English game is not something he will be used to and obviously it would be way too harsh to judge him at this early stage. However, I still thought that we were probably sorted at the back.
Then the rumours started that Chelsea had agreed a fee with Bolton, and that it was as low as 7 million; followed by rumours that Liverpool were looking to hijack the transfer. That was countered by Bolton saying there had been no contact from Liverpool. I’m inclined to believe that maybe we really did not go for him, and it would be understandable given that we have been solid at the back and we have other problem areas to deal with. However, I can’t help but think that 7 million was a bargain and that we lost out here.
The biggest losers out of this all are clearly Bolton. Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it allows me to sit here and say, “You fools, you should have sold him in the summer, bought in some new players and maybe you wouldn’t be sitting here 2nd from bottom.” However, from Bolton’s point of view they were looking at one of their best players, hoping beyond hope that maybe he would be able to ensure that they had a decent season, and stayed out of the relegation zone. A player like Gary Cahill can easily be the difference between staying up or going down; between possibly getting into Europe or not. That all leads to additional income and in the case of relegation it may well be worth well over 10 million.
Having said that, 18 million can buy you a couple of decent players if not more. Now, no offence to Bolton, but with them not being one of the heavy weights in the league they may have been better suited to 2 or 3 good buys versus on outstanding player, particularly one that was always going to go in January for a reduced fee or at the end of the season for free. Of course those players they brought in would not have been definitely certain to be a success but there is also the added factor of having some more squad depth. It’s always handy being able to bring on a decent replacement for somebody in the middle of the game.
Still I suppose now that it has happened, there is only one major question I need to ask myself. Now that I have Cahill in my Liverpool FIFA player manager career, do I ship him back out? 😀