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Cahill swoop was too good to turn down: Hodgson

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All smiles: Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson

All smiles: Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson

Getty Images

All smiles: Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has described Gary Cahill as a "gift" after the Crystal Palace defender continued his remarkable form by helping the Eagles to a third straight 1-0 Premier League win.

The 34-year-old starred against Watford at Selhurst Park on Saturday alongside fellow centre-back Scott Dann to blunt the Hornets.

Between them, the duo produced 14 clearances with Cahill also involved in a number of blocks and interceptions as Palace registered a ninth clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

When Hodgson - whose men triumphed courtesy of a Jordan Ayew strike - moved to sign former England international Cahill last summer, some eyebrows were raised with the club well stocked in that area having James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Dann and Martin Kelly.

But the addition of Cahill on a free transfer has proved a masterstroke, with the former Chelsea ace quickly becoming a fans' favourite and showing he has plenty left to give after a frustrating 2018-19 season spent on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge.

"For me, it was too big a gift to let pass us by in a way when Gary became free and - due to the relationship (Palace assistant) Ray (Lewington) and I have with him, from working with England - we were able to persuade him to come and join us," Hodgson said.

"He hasn't lost anything physical in terms of pace, mobility, aggression or technique - that has all stayed with him.

"The answer to the question why is he doing so well is because his character as a person and his desire to be a good professional footballer and do what he knows is his job to do and do it well and he does every week."

Belfast Telegraph