West Ham were interested in signing Gary Cahill in the summer of 2019, according to reliable Hammers insider ExWHUemployee.

Football.London also claimed that the east London outfit were close to signing the two-time Premier League and Champions League winner on a free transfer, but they eventually decided against it.

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Cahill, 34, ended up joining Crystal Palace.

And the former England international has been a real hit at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace v Watford FC - Premier League
Gary Cahill (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

In 20 Premier League outings for the Eagles, Cahill has averaged five clearances and 1.2 blocks per game. He has also won an average of 3.9 aerial duals per game in those appearances. (Who Scored).

Cahill has been brilliant for Palace. Roy Hodgson’s men have the sixth best defensive record in the Premier League. And the former Chelsea man has been the cornerstone of their success.

Missing out on the centre-back now looks like a big error

West Ham could really have done with the 34-year-old this season.

And Paul Merson’s comments to Sky Sports on Cahill highlight just how big of a mistake the Hammers made in not signing the experienced centre-back:

Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day
Paul Merson (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“Cahill has been outstanding for Crystal Palace. He came in last summer and you’ve got to remember he didn’t play much football at all last season for Chelsea. To then go to Palace where you are playing in a team that only gets 35 to 40 per cent possession, compared to Chelsea’s 60 per cent, and to defend as well as he has, he deserves credit. He has marshalled that defence and he’s a key reason Palace aren’t deep in a relegation battle.”

Merson picked the Palace defender in his Premier League team of the season so far.

Cahill obviously would not have been a player for the future. But for the here and now he would have been excellent for West Ham.

It could be argued that had the Hammers signed the 34-year-old, they would be nowhere near the bottom three right now.

And West Ham will surely regret missing out on Cahill now.

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