Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has revealed his shock after John Terry announced he would be leaving the club in the summer and admitted that he doesn't know how the captain will be replaced.
Terry has been at Stamford Bridge since the age of 14 but recently revealed that the club has opted not to offer him a new contract.
The 35-year old has been partnered alongside Zouma for much of this season and the Frenchman admitted that he was shocked at the news, believing that Terry can continue to play at a high level.
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“I am very surprised - I didn’t know,” the 21-year-old told the Evening Standard.
“Now we have to see what John wants to do because I think he can play for another one or two years.”
Zouma added: “For me he can play many more times. He is still at a top level. He has been playing very well since I arrived at Chelsea. He can continue for sure.”
Terry has made 696 appearances for the Blues, winning four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three league cups, a Europa League and a Champions League during his 18 years at the club.
He was made captain by Jose Mourinho at the start of the 2004/05 season and Zouma compared the inevitable departure of Terry to that of Didier Drogba, who left the club for the second time last summer.
“This feels like when we lost Didier (Drogba) last summer. (Terry) is a huge personality at Chelsea,” he said.
Difficult to replace
The central defender also admitted that the club may find it difficult to fill the gap left by the former England captain.
“When you lose these kind of players, you have to replace them but I don’t know how John can be replaced. We have to think about it.”
Zouma joined the London club in 2014 and has already played 53 times for the Stamford Bridge outfit. The former Saint-Etienne player admitted that Terry has had a big influence on him during that time and that he learnt from him.
“He has been a massive support to me. When I started my first games last year he was always talking to me. He is a legend and a very good leader. I have learnt a lot from him. I don’t know what to say, I am very surprised.”