Opinion: Why Gary Cahill Could Be A Short-Term Solution To Celtic’s Defensive Frailties

It has just been announced that former Chelsea and England international defender Gary Cahill has left Crystal Palace after his contract expired at Selhurst Park. The 35 year old is an experienced player, who has plied his trade at the highest level of the game. Available on a free transfer and having accrued decent wages throughout his career, Cahill could now be attainable for a club like Celtic. In my view, he  could be a decent short term acquisition for the Hoops. He would certainly sure up the defence and bring his wisdom to the back line this season, in much the same way as Kolo Toure did for the team under Brendan Rodgers back in 2016.

Cahill has been a solid performer in the Premiership, making 20 appearances in the English top flight last term. Despite losing a yard of pace, he still has the football brain to ensure he doesn’t get easily beaten by faster strikers. And if he’s able to cope with the top strikers playing for the likes of Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool etc, then he should be able to deal with anything thrown Celtic’s way in the SPFL.

With new signings such as Carl Starfelt needing to settle in and youngsters such as Murray and Welsh looking to stake a first team claim, a centre half with the stature of Cahill could guide those players through their development and solidify the defence. He would undoubtedly bring a calmness and assurance to the team, settling all around him, which is something we need this year – especially where the goalkeeper is concerned.

On reduced wages with no transfer fee required, Celtic would be wise to secure Gary Cahill for the season to help Celtic through this transitional period. In return, he would get the chance to play for another big club, in front of a passionate fan base, with the opportunity to potentially win trophies and play in Europe again. Hopefully it makes sense for both parties.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.


  1. Agree some experience at centre back would be great for the team, with both him and Mccarthy nit costing any money in transfer fees it’s a no brainer.

  2. The blinkered approach of the Celtic board will always stand in the way of a move of this nature.
    Instead of shifting the money saved on transfer fees to the pocket of the incoming players, adding it to the top Celtic salary, the club prefer to dig their heels in and not go over the highest salary level for anyone.
    This blinkered attitude has probably cost Celtic at least £100 million over the past eight years or so.
    It is a primitive approach which has held Celtic back for years.

  3. Cahill would be a commanding aerial presence and defensive leader, but does he have the mobility to fit into Ange’s scheme? Possibly not.

    But would I take him right now?
    With no hesitation.

  4. Graham Laurie on

    Gary Cahill should be a NO-BRAINER to go for, probably got a couple of good years left in him and could certainly do a job for Celtic.