With the European Championships awaiting at the end of the season, you would be forgiven for thinking Gary Cahill is currently doing everything he can to leave Chelsea.
The Blues defender has played just two league games since the start of December and has been forced to watch John Terry and Kurt Zouma’s impressive defensive displays from the bench.
But according to Guus Hiddink, Cahill gave the Chelsea boss no impression that he wanted to leave before the January transfer window shuts when he spoke with the 30-year-old this week.
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As reported by the Daily Mail, Hiddink admitted: “He is of big value and will prove that in the upcoming weeks. If players are not not playing frequently they must get a bit frustrated.
“I talked to him a few days ago about the situation. He is not to be considered as second team. He is of big importance and will be in the upcoming multitude of games.
“He was very open and very clear that he wants to stay in this club. He is very happy here, but not playing gives a little bit of frustration, which is normal.”
It could be that Cahill is afforded opportunities in the FA Cup. The former Bolton man played 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Scunthorpe three weeks ago and could play in this weekend’s fourth-round tie against Milton Keynes Dons.
Hiddink continued: “There was no hint from his side ‘can I leave the club’. Nothing.
“He is very happy, and as fair as I’m concerned, I will have him in the upcoming month and the club will have him for the upcoming years.”
The Guardian reported this week that Cahill has grown frustrated at a lack of minutes, so it’s surprising he has now expressed to Hiddink a willingness to stay.
England hopes fading
Cahill has earned 40 England caps and was a mainstay in Roy Hodgson’s team during qualification for this summer’s tournament in France, but a lack of games will hurt his chances of starting at the heart of England’s defence greatly.
Chris Smalling and John Stones have emerged as the country’s most talented centre-backs and, despite Cahill’s experience, it’s unlikely he’ll earn a starting spot if he continues to spend the rest of the season on Chelsea’s bench.
The west London club are reportedly close to confirming the signing of American defender Matt Miazga, so Cahill can expect even more competition in the near future.