On Sunday, Gary Cahill made a rare Premier League appearance for Chelsea when he was afforded a late run out as a substitute in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Watford – one last cameo at Stamford Bridge before his contract runs out in the summer.
His late entrance to the fray was just his second league appearance all season, coming some seven months after his first against West Ham in late September – when he came on as a second-half replacement for Antonio Rudiger.
Frozen out under manager Maurizio Sarri, Cahill recently took the surprising decision to air his grievances publicly in the media. The former Chelsea captain told The Daily Telegraph that he found it hard to respect Sarri and expressed his disappointment at how his final season at the club had played out.
However, the defender must take some of the blame for his current predicament. When offered a lifeline and the chance to leave Chelsea in January, Cahill turned down approaches and decided to stay despite knowing he would receive little or no playing time.
In the winter transfer window, Premier League strugglers Fulham vigorously pursued the centre-back, attempting to sign him on a short-term deal to boost their survival hopes and strengthen their leaky defence.
Yet Cahill turned down the Cottagers, passing up the chance to play consistent top-flight football and potentially become a hero at the southwest London club.
When the 33-year-old moans about his treatment at Chelsea, it must be remembered that he chose to stay put at Stamford Bridge when given a chance to depart.