Tim Cahill Slips Under the Transfer Window Radar: to the Relief of Everton Fans

Dave GooderhamCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2009

Jermain Defoe, Stewart Downing, and Andrei Arshavin have all helped to ensure that this January transfer window is full of signings, transfer requests and ludicrous agents' fees.

Loathed by the likes of Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce but loved with a mixture of hope and expectation among every Manchester City fan, the New Year is now a time where rumour and speculation goes into overdrive.

The next four weeks will not disappoint with Arsenal craving a defensive midfielder, Chelsea said to be on the look-out for a cheaper forward and City desperately searching for, well just about anybody who can improve a fragile starting eleven.

One name that continually escapes under the transfer window radar is Everton attacking midfielder Tim Cahill.

This mystifying omission, one alluded to by pundits on Sky Sports on Saturday, can perhaps be related to one of several things.

The Australian midfielder is clearly loyal to Everton, as he was to his former club Millwall who he only left because of the trappings of the Premier League. He recently suggested he might leave Everton at the end of 2011-12 season, but even then it was only to return to his homeland and end his career playing in the A-league.

It is also testimony to the success of his current employers who continue to punch above their weight, knocking on the door of more illustrious names in a way that the likes of Newcastle and Tottenham can only look on with envy.

Mikel Arteta is rightly attracting all the media speculation with the Spaniard one of the bargain buys of the last few seasons. But many would argue that Cahill’s scoring prowess from midfield, bettered only by Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, perhaps deserves an even bigger stage than Goodison Park.

It is not beyond belief that he could fulfil a vital role in Manchester United’s squad rotation, with comparisons to how Paul Scholes used to play, while I am baffled why certain top European sides seem more interested in Jermaine Pennant than Cahill.

In the last three seasons, he has averaged a goal in every three games in a side not known for possessing a prolific strike rate. This has allowed the astute David Moyes to continue with a solid 4-5-1 formation which ensures Everton are always difficult to beat.

But Cahill has this season managed to increase his excellent reputation by playing the lone striker role to partly solve the club’s attacking crisis. Injuries to

Ayegbeni Yakubu, Andy Johnson and, naturally, Louis Saha left Moyes with little choice but to turn to Cahill.

The stereotype of a lone frontman is someone who can hold the ball up and bring others into play—you could say someone like Peter Crouch at Portsmouth. Nicknamed “Tiny Tim” by Evertonians, Cahill is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Crouch but has still helped the Merseysiders sit pretty in sixth place.

Recent winning goals against Manchester City and Middlesbrough proves how important Cahill is to Everton and how grateful Moyes must be that his pocket midfielder continues to show such loyalty during the nerve-wracking month of January.