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Gary Cahill returns to Chelsea having impressed since joining Crystal Palace for free

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Having been a leading man at Chelsea for the best part of a decade, Gary Cahill spent most of last season as little more than a background character.

On Saturday Cahill returns to his old stomping ground with Crystal Palace having firmly proven that he still has the talent and physicality to cut it in the Premier League.

Cahill had won everything available to a Premier League player before Sarri came into Chelsea, including the Champions League in his first season and the title twice.

Chelsea let him leave for free at the end of the campaign - there was little to suggest he would ever renew his contract - and Palace decided to snap him up.

'The 2016-17 season when I won the title with Chelsea under Antonio Conte, playing as part of a back three, I felt terrific and was able to cover a lot of mileage but I know where I need my body to be in order to perform and I'm achieving that at the moment.

When Gary Cahill became available I was lucky enough to persuade the club to sign him.

Cahill has already justified Palace's faith and is working his way into the good books of the fans there.

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