In a league where average central defenders are bought for over £20million, bargains are that much more important. At the time, Gary Cahill’s £5million move to Bolton 2 years ago seemed like a lot of money for a player who was far from established at the top level. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that it was most definitely a shrewd piece of business by former Bolton manager, Gary Megson.
Cahill is now 24 and is one of the most highly-rated defenders in the league. He has been called up to a couple of England squads though is yet to earn his first cap, and is valued by his club at around £18million to ward of interest from the likes of Manchester United.
At Aston Villa, Cahill was very highly rated; a product of their youth setup, he was predicted to have a bright future in the game but at the time there were a number of players who played in his position and it was difficult to give him the games he needed to develop as a player. Birmingham showed strong interest in buying the player after he impressed during a loan spell at Sheffield United, but it was Bolton who won the race to sign him as they matched Villa’s asking price and offered Cahill an attractive contract.
With Bolton, he has developed his game and is an increasingly mature player. He has always had pace and power, but under the tutelage of Megson, he has grown into an intelligent player and is the lynchpin of the Bolton defence. He is accomplished with the ball at his feet but is also strong in the air, making him a very complete player. Though he is yet to be capped by England he is likely to be a key member of the squad for the European Championships in 2012.
At the time, it seemed as if Bolton had overspent on Cahill, but even if they do not keep hold of the player for too much longer, Bolton seem set to make a tidy profit on the defender and it must go down as an intelligent purchase by Megson.
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