By Dave Woods

9th Jul, 2019 | 10:49am

Leeds should move for Gary Cahill

After the sudden departure of Pontus Jansson to Brentford on Monday, Leeds are light at the back and we think another centre-back signing is a must before the season starts. 

We thought Leeds went in short last season and that view was vindicated when Kalvin Phillips was brought back to play at centre-back when injuries and suspensions started to bite.

Leeds have signed Ben White but also lost Aapo Halme and some fans are concerned about going into the Championship with an untested pairing of Liam Cooper and Ben White.

One player who is available and would make a difference is Gary Cahill.

The 33-year-old was treated without emotion last season by Maurizio Sarri, giving the veteran just two cameo appearances in the Premier League.

He’s without a club now that his contract has expired and we think he could definitely come in and do a job for Bielsa on a season-long deal.

BBC pundit and former Leeds player Noel Whelan thinks so too. Talking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “Leeds have to go into the market now… Gary Cahill would be great. Leeds will be looking at him. I certainly would be if I was Marcelo Bielsa. He’d be perfect for us. He’s a leader, has excellent experience at the top level, a really good defender, dominant in both penalty boxes, and would be good in the dressing room. It’s certainly possible if we could sort the wages out.”

There wouldn’t be a fee to pay for him but his wages would be the big issue. He was on £130k-a-week at Chelsea and he would have to climb down a fair amount to make it realistic for Leeds to sign him.

That could all depend on what other offers come in for him over the summer.

£40k-a-week for a year-long deal would cost Leeds £2m of the reported £5.5m they got for Jansson. That would be worth it to get a leader at the back and a player who is very similar to Jansson, but a player who has been doing it at a higher level, in the Premier League and for England.

The numbers below compare Jansson’s games in the Championship with Cahill’s in the Premier League [wyscout.com].

Both players offer a big threat in the air at both ends and Cahill has brilliant passing numbers for a Premier League centre-back, making an average of 42.05 passes per 90 minutes with a 90.6% success rate.

Leeds fans should be very happy if Cahill came in to replace the Sweden international.