A legend departs. For the first time since the departure of Jose Mourinho in September 2007, I fear Chelsea FC may never be the same again. John Terry confirmed on Sunday evening that he will not be staying at Chelsea beyond the summer and this one really stings.
A man who embodies the true passion of the fans and loyalty to the club perhaps more than any other in its history will leave, and although we all knew this day would come, the timing just seems wrong and leaves a bitter taste in many Chelsea fans’ mouths upon reading this.
What’s so damaging about this timing is that Terry in my view, deserves much more, and certainly another year at least. Admittedly, he has shown his age plenty of times this season, but others have been far worse and they will stay. Branislav Ivanovic’s strong performances this season could be counted on one hand, yet he still gets a new contract.
In performances such as the one at Arsenal , Terry has shown his professionalism and quality is still present, and he organises the defence better than anyone perhaps in the entire league. Kurt Zouma promises much and can learn much alongside Terry, while Gary Cahill always seems more solid alongside the former England captain. A Zouma-Cahill pairing has often struggled so back up will be needed.
Even still, Terry would be the first or second choice in my view and with him offering such experience and organisational skills if not pace, he still has a job to play, especially in tough away fixtures.
Furthermore, there are few available replacements. As previously mentioned, Zouma and Cahill can work but the wisdom of Terry will be useful too. Without Chelsea in the champions league, attracting major names to the Bridge may prove tricky. Whether possible new manager Conte can attract his old Juventus and Serie A stars remains to be seen, but no damage will be felt by keeping Terry around.
He is flawed of course and nowhere near the player he was even last season, but his experience and arguably more fit body next season may hold the key to making Chelsea’s defence stronger next season. To smoothen the rebuilding process, Terry will help and to add depth to a squad already short on it.
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow Joshua on Twitter @JoshSalad365
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