After over twenty years at Chelsea Football Club, John Terry has confirmed he will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Blues have reportedly decided against renewing the skipper’s contract - a decision to have shocked world football.
Terry has been one of the Blues’ most loyal servants, winning the Champions League, Europa League, four Premier League titles and more during his time in west London - he is an English footballing icon.
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However, as mentioned, the move hasn’t come without controversy and proved a resounding shock for many.
Whilst this may appear a step in the right direction for the future of the club, the Blues may in fact be shooting themselves in the foot. He might be 35-years-old, but Terry still has so much to offer for the team he holds so close to his heart.
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Through all of Chelsea’s success in the 21st century, Terry has been ever-present. What he offers to the team is brilliantly surmised by the banner reading 'Captain, Leader, Legend’ that adorns Stamford Bridge.
Many would argue his swashbuckling form has diminished in recent years and although his performances have slumped this campaign, he remains, arguably, the club’s best defender.
Perhaps the main reason behind Chelsea's refusal to renew his contract is Terry’s age; however, last season showed perfectly that his fitness defies his well-documented mileage. During Chelsea’s run to the Premier League title last season, the Englishman didn’t miss a single minute - a remarkable achievement for such an experienced player.
The marathon of last season may have taken its toll this year, but under Guus Hiddink, Terry has reminded the fans of what he has to offer. Despite being told the news just before the game, he executed an immaculate performance in the club’s 1-0 win over Arsenal.
It appears the club is disregarding all his experience and recent upturn in form on the simple basis of his age.
Of course, it's inevitable that Terry will decline, but on so many occasions he has been written off and fought back. After all, this is a man who recovered from a Champions League final penalty miss; the club will never find such a physically and psychologically tough leader.
The club is looking towards youth and the future - this is understandable. However, cutting Terry from the plan so abruptly will see the club deprived of perhaps the best medium through which to nurture these academy players into the first team.
The 35-year-old is playing week in, week out - this surely indicates that the coaching staff at the club view him as one of the Blues’ best defensive assets.
Youth should be slowly introduced as opposed to being thrown into the arena as soon as Terry departs. Adding them into the frame is healthy, but it’s not a case of one in and one out. There should be a transition to ensure Chelsea don’t find themselves in yet another rut.
Above all, in losing Terry, the club is allowing perhaps their most inspirational player to leave. The Blues risk having a squad completely deprived of experienced players who fight for the badge, not the pay packet.
Terry’s love for the club was exemplified by his dramatic equaliser against Everton last month; it must be wondered whether any other current player takes Chelsea so close to heart.
On the whole, whilst the motive for Terry’s departure certainly bears good intentions, it may prove a mistake in the long term.
Chelsea are on the up but still found themselves in a dire league position, and as a result, it looks like there couldn’t be a worse time to show their captain the exit.