Chelsea’s Gary Cahill is “one of the worst defenders” around and should give up his Premier League title medal, according to Mike Pejic.
The Stoke legend has blasted the Blues skipper while praising Jack Butland for making the most of a difficult situation with England.
The Potters goalkeeper took in 45 minutes for his country in a recent friendly date with France, replacing Tom Heaton for the second half at Stade de France.
He conceded what proved to be the decisive goal in a 3-2 defeat, but Pejic has suggested that those in front of Butland did little to aid his cause – with Cahill coming in for criticism despite helping Chelsea to the top-flight crown in 2016-17.
The former Stoke defender, who made 344 appearances for the club, told The Sentinel: “I felt sorry for him [Butland] having to play behind a player like Gary Cahill, one of the worst defenders I've seen in one-v-one situations.
“He gets so easily exposed and it was him, as much as David Luiz, who needed the protection of a three-man defence in that Chelsea rearguard last season.
“Chelsea boss Antonio Conte deserves a medal - possibly Cahill's title-winning medal - for spotting so quickly that Luiz and Cahill needed such protection.
“I thought Butland was steady overall against France, spreading himself well when he needed to, and I liked the distance he kept between himself and his defence when the ball was in England's defensive third.
“With his build and his height, he will always have a great physical presence, but there is room for improvement.
“I'd like to see and hear him verbally communicating with his defence more to get them organised and keep them sharp.”
Cahill missed just one Premier League fixture for Chelsea in 2016-17 and contributed a personal best six league goals to the cause, and eight across all competitions.
Butland, meanwhile, made his return to action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines in April, taking in just five appearances before being drafted straight back into the England set-up.