Why Chelsea don't need £21m Real Madrid star

John Terry And Cahill V Arsenal

Gary Cahill is reportedly in talks over a new deal with the Blues.

He may have endured a World Cup to forget, just like the rest of the England team, but Cahill is integral to Chelsea's plans next season.

You won't see him making crucial errors at Stamford Bridge and in 30 Premier League appearances for the Blues last term, Cahill only saw his side let in 19.

That's just one of a number of reasons why Chelsea are wise to offer the 28-year-old a new contract, which, according to the Times, is exactly what they are doing. 

  TeamPosGoals ConcededClean SheetsError Lead To GoalTackles WonInterceptions WonEffective ClearancesAerial Duels WonAppsMins
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 19 12 0 74 49 137 42 29 2,325
Gary Cahill Chelsea DF 19 16 0 27 29 205 106 30 2,623
John Terry Chelsea DF 25 16 0 18 36 225 103 34 3,060
Branislav Ivanovic Chelsea DF 27 16 0 54 38 178 120 36 3,180

As Opta stats show, last season's league campaign was as impressive as it gets from a defensive point of view. Were the Premier League decided purely on goals conceded, it wouldn't even be a contest.

Indeed, Cahill was present for all 16 of the Blues' clean sheets, won more aerial duels than anyone else in Chelsea's defence and made over 200 clearances. He also won more tackles than captain John Terry and did not make a single error that led to a goal (nor did any of Jose Mourinho's main four defenders.)

Offering the England man a new contract, then, makes perfect sense. At 28, he is now vastly experienced but also has several years ahead of him. And, in his partnership with John Terry, Chelsea have at least another season of top-level defensive football.

But the decision to offer Cahill a new deal can also kill two birds with one stone for the west London side.

According to reports in Spain, Mourinho's men are interested in signing Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, previously dubbed the 'best young defender in the world' by the Chelsea boss.

But, despite Jamie Carragher also wanting the 21-year-old at Liverpool, European champions Real are extremely unlikely to sell. Why, then, should the west London side go out of their way to try and prise the Frenchman away from Madrid when they already have the best centre-back partnership in the Premier League?

At 33, Terry won't last foreve, but he has at least another year or two in him at the very top level. Cahill, meanwhile, has improved immeasurably since he first arrived at Stamford Bridge. With Kurt Zouma for backup and Branislav Ivanovic also able to play at centre-back, Chelsea don't need much more unless it is purely for injury cover.

There is, of course, no reason why Varane can't be one for the future. That can be dealt with next summer or even the one after, when his price may be cheaper.

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