Gary Cahill swaps Chelsea for Crystal Palace
(Photo: Getty Images/Mike Hewitt)

Gary Cahill has made the short trip across London by signing for Crystal Palace on a two-year-deal after Chelsea released him following seven years of service.

Palace add a player with a wealth of experience at the highest level and an impressive trophy cabinet to go with it; 349 Premier League appearances and eight trophies combine to create an admirable CV.

After losing starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, Cahill's arrival will bolster an already sturdy defence that kept 12 league clean sheets in 2018/19, bettered only by five other sides. 

Having fallen out of favour with Chelsea in his final months, hr was keen to reignite a career that has shone so often, yet stuttered as of late.

Pre-Chelsea

Before his cycle as a Blue, Cahill went through numerous clubs to end up at Stamford Bridge. Initially, at Aston Villa's academy, the centre-back was swiftly loaned out to Championship side Burnley

Following a year in which he was named the Clarets Player and Young Player of the Season, he returned to the Midlands in 2005; his crowning moment came in scoring his first Villa goal against arch-rivals Birmingham City, a bicycle kick none the less.

A brief three-month loan to Sheffield United lead to his final moments as a Villain, with interest growing from several parties in England and abroad.

One of these being Bolton Wanderers, who acquired his signature in January 2008, making his debut just three days later against Reading

Over his tenure at the once named Reebok Stadium, Cahill's status as one of the most dependable defenders in the top division grew, playing 130 times in the league and appearing on more occasions than any of his teammates in the 2010/11 campaign (36). 

Becoming a Blue

With his contract set to expire, Owen Coyle admitted Cahill was to leave the club, sparking interest from the larger investors in the land.

And it was Chelsea who landed his services, agreeing a £7 million fee in 2012 which looking back seems one of the steals of the century. 

Few could have envisaged how well his first term could have gone; along with gaining an FA Cup winners medal, Cahill started the Champions League final against Bayern Munich as an understudy to the suspended John Terry. Chelsea pulled off an unlikely scalping of the Germans in their backyard to earn Europeans top prize.

European glory arrived back at the Bridge in the form of the Europa League, Cahill once again a starter in the finale as Benfica faced the fate of the Blues. 

Jose Mourinho began his second spell in the dugout during 2013/14 and one of the few occasions Cahill failed to lift any silverware. However, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year, along with Petr Cech and Eden Hazard.

It was not long before the Chelsea dominance kicked into gear, taking the League Cup off Tottenham Hotspur before ruling as league champions once again; Cahill was a starter at Wembley and was one of six Blues names on the PFA Team of the Year team sheet.

Following the clubs worst league finish for two decades and the dismissal of Mourinho, Antonio Conte came to Chelsea's rescue by masterminding another Premier League victory, Cahill firmly at the heart of his fabled three-man defence. A third PFA Team of the Year nomination came the way of Cahill after he missed just one league fixture.

Conte could not save his job despite guiding Chelsea to an FA Cup victory over Manchester United, captained by Cahill having taken over the armband from the departing Terry.

After being such a constant throughout Chelsea's accomplishments, Maurizio Sarri struck the final nail in Cahill's coffin by freezing him out of his squad, playing him on a mere nine occasions in all competitions before the 33-year-old had seen enough. 

England duty

Cahill earned 61 caps for his international services towards England, including three major tournaments.

Having been part of the U21s, he made his senior debut in 2010, a routine 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

As his status grew in domestic football, his chances with the Lions equally excelled. He and current Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson already have history, as the latter named Cahill in his 2012 European Championship squad during his reign in charge. Unfortunately, a broken jaw denied Cahill his seat on the plane. 

Two years down the line and he had made it to the grandest stage, starting all three group ties of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where England were knocked without reaching the knockout rounds.

He was named vice-captain to Wayne Rooney and was called upon by Hodgson for UEFA Euro 2016; Cahill played every minute as England were eliminated in embarrassing style to minnows Iceland

His international duct came shortly after his soul appearance at the 2018 World Cup addition. 

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