Chelsea’s Gary Cahill is “one of the worst defenders”, says Stoke City legend Mike Pejic

Chelsea’s Gary Cahill is “one of the worst defenders”, says Stoke City legend Mike Pejic

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill should hand manager Antonio Conte his Premier League winner’s medal, according to Stoke City legend Mike Pejic.

The England international, 31, was a regular for the Blues in the season just gone as he featured in all but one game and often wore the captain’s armband in the absence of club legend John Terry.

Cahill weighed in with a number of important goals as the west London outfit reclaimed English football’s most prestigious trophy. However, his defensive qualities have been called into question by Pejic.

“I felt sorry for him [Butland] having to play behind a player like Gary Cahill, one of the worst defenders I’ve seen in one-v-one situations,” the Potters legend said, as reported by Goal.

“He gets so easily exposed and it was him, as much as David Luiz, who needed the protection of a three-man defence in that Chelsea rearguard last season.

“Chelsea boss Antonio Conte deserves a medal – possibly Cahill’s title-winning medal – for spotting so quickly that Luiz and Cahill needed such protection.”

Conte’s decision to switch to a back three formation certainly got the best out of summer signing David Luiz. The Brazilian struggled alongside Cahill in a defensive two in games against Liverpool as well as Arsenal.

Despite his six goals, Cahill managed two defensive errors throughout the campaign – no player across the entire squad had more – although he did average six defensive actions per game, including 170 clearances and 51 interceptions.

Gary Cahill made 19 blocks for Chelsea in the Premier League this season.