Chelsea's famous trio of Petr Cech, 31, John Terry, 32, and the highest Blues goalscorer of all time in Frank Lampard, 35, could be entering their final season as the first names on the team-sheet every week.
With Jose Mourinho looking to continue the clubs new-found youth policy with the likes of young talents Eden Hazard, Oscar, Van Ginkel, Schurrle and Lukaku, it seems a new era has gripped Stamford Bridge.
Cech has had a fine Chelsea career, and has been first-choice without his position being threatened for the majority of his time there. It's clear to see why with his glittering stats.
However until the end of this season when Chelsea's young Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois was handed the award for best La Liga goalkeeper of the season, which is some accomplishment bearing in mind Iker Casillas was also in contention, Cech had appeared to still be safe.
This being said, Courtois has been loaned back out again to Atletico Madrid this coming season and it has granted Cech at least one more year of being un-opposed. That was until Chelsea acquired Premier League veteran Mark Schwarzer, who will push Cech to his limits to keep his place. Schwarzer, coupled with Courtois, will surely force Cech into submission, or at least into a far less pivotal role at the club and could possibly bring about the end of Cech's playing days in a blue shirt.
John Terry has not been Chelsea's best defender for a couple of seasons now, however he still plays his fair share of games even though he is already battling with Cahill, Luiz and Ivanovic for a place.
This could be set to change as Chelsea have the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah waiting in the wings to be promoted to the first-team, and with his good performances at Chelsea's 'Here To Play, Here To Stay' pre-season tour, he has shown why Chelsea rate him so highly.
On top of this Chelsea having been venturing into the transfer market and have been enquiring about the likes Eliaquim Mangala and Doria, two young highly-rated centre backs.
Lampard, arguably Chelsea's greatest ever player, could also be coming to an end of his Chelsea playing days. The acquisition of Marko Van Ginkel is a huge factor in this as the young Dutchman has been labelled 'the next Frank Lampard', similar to Chelsea acquiring 'the next Didier Drogba' in Romelu Lukaku. Like Chalobah, Van Ginkel impressed in the pre-season tour and is dubbed to have a break out season on the big stage which could make Lampard surplus to requirements. Mourinho himself has been quoted as saying: “While I believe he is the same player, the difference is at 35 he needs time to recover from match to match. It is not the same for a man of 25 as a man of 35."
Let's hope Chelsea's youth policy pays off and graces us with talent of a similar standing as these three legends of the Premier League.
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