Cahill keen to learn from Blues veterans

Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill

First published in National Sport News © by

Gary Cahill has urged Chelsea to keep hold of their old masters - because he has not finished studying under them yet.

Cahill insisted the performance of Didier Drogba and fellow thirty-somethings Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in Saturday's epic victory over Bayern Munich proved they still had plenty to offer - especially to him.

"I don't see it being the end," the England defender said. "Frank Lampard was fantastic. Ashley Cole was amazing and he's probably been the best left-back in the world for many years. Didier, again, turned up, the big man for the big occasion. You just learn from these sorts of boys, especially myself."

Speculation has been rife all season about a summer clear-out of the club's so-called 'old guard' and reports on Monday suggested Munich hero Drogba had already agreed a deal to join Shanghai Shenhua.

Meanwhile, Cahill admitted he felt added pressure on Saturday in the absence of another Chelsea veteran, suspended captain John Terry.

"I felt pressure because, obviously, the skipper wasn't there," said the 26-year-old, who revealed he was not even fully fit after almost a month out with a hamstring injury.

"Because of the size of the game and what it meant to the club - obviously playing the Champions League next season - however much you want to try to play it down in your head and relax, you knew it was a massive, massive game.

"You only get the experience by playing in the games and, now, these games, the Barcelona games, and even coming on in the Benfica game in the second half was a great experience for myself and will only improve me as a player."

Chelsea were on Sunday planning 11th-hour talks with Drogba in an attempt to reach an agreement on extending his contract. The club refused to bow to the 34-year-old's demands for a new two-year deal earlier this season.

Cahill said: "If you ask every player at the football club, you'd hope that he stays. But he's obviously got his own decision to make. It was just fitting that he took the penalty that won us the cup, he got us back in the game late doors. He just seems to turn up in these big games and that's the kind of player he is."

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