By Graham Hill
TIME will tell if Villa’s decision not to sign Gary Cahill on a free transfer this summer was a wise move.
But right now, it looks like the correct one.
Cahill was widely tippled to return to Villa Park after being released by Chelsea.
The deal had the backing of Villa coach John Terry who has obvious Stamford Bridge connections with ex-England defender Cahill, 33.
But, according to The Athletic website, Villa’s bosses decided to opt for the ‘young and hungry’ rout, buying players who are likely to increase in value.
Villa were also concerned that Cahill’s wages of £80,000 a week would make him the highest paid player at the club – that is despite captain Jack Grealish earning a pay rise as a result of winning promotion last May.
Cahill went to Palace instead and could line up against Villa on Saturday.
Instead, Villa signed defenders Tyrone Mings, Bjorn Engels, Ezri Konsa, Matt Targett and Kortney Hause for a combined total of around £50million.
Certainly, it is difficult to provide a good reason why Cahill would be a better prospect right now – particularly if it meant Dean Smith could not have signed all of the above players.
It was argued at the time that Cahill, a product of Villa’s Academy system before he was sold to Bolton 11 years ago, would have added some valuable experience,
But at the end of his two-year deal, Villa would likely release him just as Chelsea did. And the players they did sign have years ahead of them and can only get better.