Central midfielder - Australia
Original 200 writeup:
Yet another really tough player to rank. Some years ago, Ballon d'Or nominee and everything, a a much higher ranking would have seemed obvious, but rightly or wrongly, it's my impression that Cahill has slowed down some, or at least at the moment isn't quite on the same level as the last few years.
He still has a good work rate and in the opponent's penalty area of course is a very proven goal scorer with both head (especially that) and feet but overall it just seems that it's to a lesser extent than before.
Though decent enough in his own right Cahill's never been a great technical player, this list
will be full of better ones, but what set(s) him apart are the things above (workrate/goalscoring) and if those two great qualities are lesser now because of presumably less effective movement he loses some real value.
Though he is not old yet at 29, he has had some serious injuries along the way and that could be a reason for any correctly perceived slowdown or decline.
One interesting thing to look out for at Everton is to what extent Cahill and Fellaini will play together or if one, they do share a lot of qualities, will be preferred over the other. Earlier this season manager David Moyes expressed doubts over fitting them both in at the same time and commented it was a real dilemma.
I suspect for now at least, just like on this list, Cahill will still be ahead but if not able to find room for both (Arteta at some point will come back too) I don't think Cahill should be given a long a leach at all.
Meaning if he isn't just as effective in the final third as he used to be, Fellaini younger and stronger likely will be, it's only a matter of time anyway, and should be given the chance.
The 300 update:
If he really has slowed down it isn't much I don't think, and at least this season he seems to be at the same level as the last couple of years. A level I probably didn't reward highly enough last time around.
I'm not sure how well the toughness often bordering on dirtiness that also he depends on in his game, would translate into a much less lenient Southern European league, but in England he continues to be a very good and valuable player.