Terry: Captain, Leader, Legend…Leaver?

With the transfer window set to slam shut this evening, it would appear that the days of loyalty and one-club men are well and truly over – just ask Dimitri Payet.

So it’s about time we celebrated the last few bastions of dependability in the modern game, and say what you want about John Terry you cannot deny that the defender has been a club stalwart for Chelsea.

Barring a short loan spell with Nottingham Forest at the turn of the millennium Terry has played his entire career at Stamford Bridge.

However, with opportunities few and far between these days under Italian boss Antonio Conte, could we see him finally move on in order to extend his career that little bit further?

He almost certainly won’t feature as Chelsea look to turn the screw on a faltering Liverpool even more this evening, but what exactly does the future hold for the defender…


Terry-fic at the back

Having joined the Blues as a 14-year-old, Terry has gone on to become a legend at Chelsea and sits third on the all-time list of appearance makers, having featured in more than 700 games since making his senior debut in 1998.

And that time has coincided with the most successful in the club’s history as Terry has helped Chelsea to four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups and a Champions League crown.

That makes him the most successful captain Chelsea have had, while the centre-back also led England from August 2006 to February 2010, and again from March 2011 to February 2012.

While he might have lost a yard or two of pace, Terry has always been a physical presence at the back, strong in the air and known for his nononsense tackling – not to mention his leadership qualities.

This saw him named UEFA Club Defender of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009, PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2005, while he was included in the FIFPro World XI for five consecutive seasons, from 2005 to 2009.

Antonie Conte

End of the road

During nearly two decades at Chelsea, the 36-year-old has seen 11 managers come and go, but all have opted for the stalwart at the heart of the Blues’ defence.

That was until Conte came to town with his 3-4-3 system deemed not ideal for Terry’s aging legs.

Terry has made just nine first-team appearance under Conte – five in the Premier League – and that doesn’t appear set to change with Nathan Ake recalled after impressing for Bournemouth.

With the likes of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta more often than not holding the fort at the back for Chelsea, there seems little wiggle room for Terry.

Will he stay or will he go?

Despite his age you would expect a whole host of Premier League clubs would still love to have Terry at the heart of their defence.

But as we are just a few hours away from the January transfer window closing, that doesn’t appear likely.

What perhaps is more realistic is that Terry, who was offered a new one-year deal at Stamford Bridge at the end of last season, will see out his time with the club and hang up his boots come the end of the season.

He recently put up a photo on his Instagram of his latest reading material: Alan Gernon’s ‘Retired: What Happens to Footballers When the Game’s Up’.

Terry has never been one for subtlety during his career, and it would appear he is no different when it comes to social media.

Whether the decision to stay put or not is borne out of loyalty to Chelsea you decide, but one thing that is certain – the Blues will be hard tasked to find a better captain in years to come.


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