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Cahill hopes for Premier League future as he backs Chelsea to survive impending transfer ban

  • September 11, 2019
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The departing captain lifted the Europa League trophy in his final act as he prepares to leave Stamford Bridge this summer

Gary Cahill is optimistic of staying in the Premier League when he leaves Chelsea in the summer and has backed the current Blues squad to keep on winning, even under a transfer ban.

The 33-year-old remains club captain and lifted the Europa League trophy with Cesar Azpilicueta after Chelsea’s convincing 4-1 win in Baku over Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Having previously admitted to falling out with manager Maurizio Sarri, Cahill will leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of June and he will take his time before deciding on his next move.

Cahill, who was an unused substitute against Arsenal, also thanked Azpilicueta for inviting him over to lift the trophy, just as he had done with John Terry in 2017 when Chelsea won the Premier League.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Azpilicueta as a player and a person,” Cahill said in the Baku Olympic Stadium. “He’s played near enough every game, so, for me, it wasn’t an issue. He obviously wanted me to lift it and the lads wanted me to lift it with him, so it was nice from that point of view.

“Sometimes it’s nice to be a part of that. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that with the captain’s armband on in the FA Cup etc, and sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and let someone else have a moment.

“He had his moment as well and he fully deserved it, so, for me, it’s not an issue to step back and let the lads enjoy it. Next, I want to go away on holiday for a few weeks and then I’ll come back and see what options there are for me.

“I’m confident that potentially I might stay in the league but I want to wait and see, take the decision over the summer. I’ve got a lot of time to think about things and hopefully make the right decision. I can’t wait to get back playing next season. I’m looking forward to that.”

Cahill is one of the few players at the club to have experienced a Champions League title win as Chelsea prepare to return to the competition after a year in the Europa League.

A two-window transfer ban still hangs over the Blues after FIFA issued sanctions for the signing of minors, but Cahill thinks that there is a good mix of talent and youth to absorb the blow of not being able to sign players this summer.

“To qualify for the Champions League is a great achievement and something that was a target for the lads, but to finish with a trophy is what they played for throughout the whole season,” he added.

“Looking forward, we have to see what happens with the ban and see how that plays out, but we’re looking forward to the young players coming through. They’re very exciting. I’m sure the fans will embrace that and the lads who are still here.

“I see the squad being able to build again and move forward. I don’t see why not. Experiences like this grow players to become leaders to go and do that, to play in big games. To play in the Champions League next year is massive for a lot of the players, especially the young players who will be involved.

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“I don’t see why not, but it’s down to the individuals to grow into that kind of character. I’ve been involved in many a Chelsea squad with leaders in there, and there are leaders in that dressing room. A generation moves on and then you can grow into that position. I’m sure they’ll be able to do that.”

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