John Terry may have signed a new contract, but could the Nigerian offer him some competition in the heart of the defence?
Even though a bomb scare at Old Trafford extended the end of the Premier League weekend, many of the season’s weaving narratives were concluded on the final day.
Claudio Ranieri received his guard of honour at Chelsea as Leicester City’s fairytale campaign reached its conclusion, Arsenal pipped Tottenham Hotspur to second spot and Manchester City clinched the fourth Champions League spot when they stuttered to a 1-1 draw at Swansea City.
However, while much was decided, the future of John Terry at Stamford Bridge remained up in the air until the end of last week, when he fianlly penned a new deal in west London.
The centre-back addressed the Blues faithful after the final whistle of the Pensioners’ draw with the champions, and—forcing back the tears—admitted that he was desperate to stay on at the West London club that’s been his home since 1995.
John Terry’s Chelsea career so far in numbers… https://t.co/KBIUqT2jIB pic.twitter.com/dLU9WZKb7w
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 21, 2016
It would have been a fitting farewell for the Captain, Leader, Legend had Roman Abramovich not had plans to heed his appeals, although it would have taken a an act of bravery from the owner not to offer the long-serving talisman a one-year extension at least, particularly in light of rumours that incoming coach Antonio Conte is keen to retain his services.
While Terry will ultimately stay after agreeing an extension—and can still be a valuable option for Conte—few could deny that his best days are behind him, particularly following a troubled campaign for captain and club.
Indeed, Terry is surely on the wane, and even though he will stay at the club, his impact will surely deteriorate both on the pitch and in the dressing room—where his historic influence can rival any of the EPL’s great captains of recent years.
@ChelseaFC is delighted to announce John Terry has signed a new one-year contract… https://t.co/jp52aHRzzY pic.twitter.com/9rhB7QLgLv
Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 18, 2016
A successor will also need to be sought in the heart of the defence, where the veteran skipper has held fort for the last 18 years.
There are various options.
Kurt Zouma will return from his anterior cruciate ligament injury and will hopefully blossom into the defender he was threatening to be before injury struck, while Gary Cahill should bounce back following a testing campaign.