How Rudiger and Thiago Silva can join an elite band this weekend

Gary Cahill

The unique defensive feat was achieved for a third straight season in 2016/17, and it was another stalwart who achieved it. Gary Cahill left relegation threatened Bolton for Chelsea in 2012 and went on to win it all, and this term he was at the peak of his powers as part of a back three that played a huge role in leading us to Premier League glory.

Defensive solidity was the base for that triumph, but Gaz, who wore the captain’s armband for much of the season with JT out of the side, continued his happy knack of popping up with vital strikes. Only three defenders have more Premier League goals to their name than him, with Terry the only centre-half to do so.

Stoke City were on the receiving end in both matches that season, the first of which was a header in a 4-2 victory that was the perfect end to 2016, as it was our 13th win in a row in the top flight, which is a club record.

Things were not going quite as smoothly in the return match at the Bet365 Stadium, when he conceded a penalty, and we were heading for what could have been a costly draw before he produced a finish that most strikers would have been proud of to secure a vital win. Come the end of the season he was there alongside JT lifting the Premier League trophy.