At 35-years-old, Chelsea's ever present captain John Terry is strolling amicably through the latter stages of his career. To the disappointment of all Chelsea fans, though, this notion will not last forever. Here we analyse seven of the potential replacements and how they compare to the former England skipper.
Given Chelsea's relentless pursuit of Stones in the summer, he is the obvious choice to look at first and foremost.
As a dynamic, ball-playing centre-half, Stones differs in style drastically to Terry. The 21-year-old has appeared 20 times for Everton so far this season.
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Everton's Young Player Of The Year from last season is a natural ball player, averaging 51 passes per game with an impressive 88.9% completion rate.
This ability, coupled with Stones' undeniable pace and athleticism make him comparable with former Stamford Bridge favourite Ricardo Carvalho.
Terry never possessed such admirable ball-playing talent but this was more than made up for by his discipline, bravery, reliability and leadership. All notions that England international, Stones, is still far from getting to grips with.
Dann is the tallest, oldest and arguably least decorated on this list. At 28, the Crystal Palace defender is winding towards the latter stages of his own career. Dann is cut from the same cloth as Terry - a physical centre back with a great ability to read the game and position himself effectively.
Liverpool supporter Dann's only major trophy in his career is the League Cup he won with Birmingham City back in 2011. Despite countless whispers and pleas from Eagles fans, Dann is yet to have earned an England call-up.
A big money move to Chelsea could prompt the international recognition he perhaps deserves. From Chelsea's perspective, Dann would provide almost a like-for-like switch with Terry for style and commitment. However, due to his age and lack of big game pedigree, he shouldn't be considered the long term answer.
Jose María Gimenez
At just 20, Atletico Madrid defender Gimenez is already a fully fledged international for his native Uruguay. He has 21 caps and also had his hands on the La Liga trophy as part of Diego Simeone's title-winning side in 2013/2014.
Although the 6 foot 1 centre-back, then only 18-years-old, appeared just the once for the first team that campaign. Gimenez is an aggressive, strong, competitive defender and these attributes make the youngster a perfect fit for the Premier League and Chelsea's notoriously stubborn back line.
Similarly to Terry - the Premier League's highest scoring defender of all time - Gimenez possesses the ability to cause trouble in opposition penalty areas and find the net.
Reid is a defender who can look as though he has been hand-designed for the Premier League, when fully fit.
Pacey, physical and committed, he doesn't shy away from hard work. Unlike other defenders on this list, though, he doesn't provide much by way of a creative passing game and lacks comfort on the ball.
The New Zealand captain's disciplinary record would also suggest that he is not completely without an occasional lapse in concentration. The 27-year-old could provide a short-term option similar to what Scott Dann could offer. Although his injury record is not one that the Chelsea scouts are likely to favour either.
His 2015/2016 campaign has thus far been scuppered by a hamstring injury picked up in training. This has limited New Zealand's 2014 Player Of The Year to just 12 appearances.
Fitness permitting, Reid could provide an interesting option for The Blues but again, it is difficult to see Reid as Terry's long-term successor.
Raphael Varane is arguably the hottest defensive property in world football right now. Described by Chelsea hero Frank Leboeuf as 'Like Fernando Hierro but stronger and faster', Varane has all the qualities needed to become one of Europe's finest footballers.
At just 22, Varane has already won the Champion's League, La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and has 26 international caps for France. Real Madrid's physical specimen of a centre-back reportedly fell out of favour with the Galacticos earlier in the season, putting Europe's elite clubs on high alert.
The French international has also struggled to regain his place following a thigh injury but Madrid's newly imposed transfer ban means they would be very unlikely to part with the speedy defender.
Similarly to Stones, Alderweireld's real quality lies in his ball-playing talent. He has averaged 53 passes per game with season with an 80.4% completion rate.
This, combined with his positioning, concentration and ability to read a game are attributes that Chelsea will be looking for in Terry's successor. Likewise to the heavily out of form Branislav Ivanovic, Alderweireld possesses the ability to provide an astute physical option at full-back if necessary.
The 26-year-old has 52 caps for his country and silverware already under his belt, having won three Eredivisie titles with Ajax and La Liga with Atletico Madrid.
One has to wonder if Chelsea will regret not taking a chance on him when he was available, prior to bitter rivals Tottenham swooping in.
Having become a reliable stalwart for Spurs this season, it is difficult to see him being allowed to move on from White Hart Lane, barring some sort of monster offer from the Blues.
Extremely highly regarded by Chelsea's development squads, London-born Jake Clarke-Salter has excelled at youth level.
The young centre-half has been with the Blues since under-9 level and has captained the under 18s. On paper, he would be a perfect candidate to silence the critics who like to point out the lack of first team players produced by Chelsea's youth set-up in recent years.
The UEFA Youth League winner is a powerful, pacey athlete who isn't afraid to have the ball at his feet. He is well-respected within the England youth set up and his performances have earned a recent contract extension, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until 2019.
Couple Clarke-Salter's ability with John Terry's mentoring and who's to say Chelsea have to go and spend tens of millions of pounds on a defender? The future of their back line could be right under their noses...
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