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Frank Lampard urges Chelsea to sign John Terry replacement

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Replacing John Terry at Chelsea was never going to be easy.

Although his actual playing time for the first team was limited for the final few years, Terry's role away from the pitch was just as valuable as he was on it.

The 36-year-old finally called time on his Chelsea career after the best part of two decades this summer and has joined Championship side Aston Villa.

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But Blues boss Antonio Conte might already be questioning his better judgement by letting Terry depart, following their troubled start to the new campaign.

The defending Premier League champions lost their opener against Burnley last weekend, just a week after defeat in the Community Shield to Arsenal at Wembley.

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Terry's replacement as club captain, Gary Cahill, was sent off in the shock loss to Sean Dyche's side and Conte will likely turn to either Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen for this weekend's clash with Tottenham.

Both summer signing Rudiger and Christensen, who has spent the last couple of seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, are extremely inexperienced in the Premier League but will need to adapt quickly if the Blues are to get back to winning ways.

It is believed Conte remains keen to improve his squad before the window closes and has received some advice from ex-Blues hero Frank Lampard on how he can properly replace Terry.

Aston Villa v Watford - Pre Season Friendly

In an interview with Yahoo, Lampard has urged his old club to spend big and secure the services of Southampton star Virgil van Dijk to fill the Terry-shaped void.

“If you are looking around for a centre-back, Van Dijk is probably the best there is out there at the moment with Premier League experience and Chelsea should try and get him," Lampard said.

“I was watching some video clips of him a few weeks back and when you study him, he is a class act. He is powerful in the air, comfortable on the ball, he can command a defence…he has it all.

"John Terry had that presence in the Chelsea defence for a long time and it is hard to find players like that, but Van Dijk has something about him.

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“It is not just Chelsea who will want him, it is all the top clubs in the Premier League. He has style and class about him, a physical presence, he is a top player."

Earlier today, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger reiterated the club's desire to keep hold of their £70m rated centre-back, despite Van Dijk's preference to leave.

And although it remains an eye-watering figure, Lampard thinks his former club shouldn't be put off by the price tag on this occasion.

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He added: “It is often the out and out striker who scores the goals and the dominant centre-half that are the two big positions in a team and they are hard to get. It means you have to pay over the odds for them because they are not easy to find.

“He would work for any team in the Premier League. The money being spoken about for him may be high, but we have to accept that the game has gone this way and the figures being talked about now are crazy.

“What seemed crazy figures last summer, don’t look crazy now and I just don’t know how much longer the Premier League can go on like this, but you have to pay these prices to get players right now.”

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Southampton
Football
Frank Lampard

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