John Terry doesn’t want Chelsea to splash the cash on his replacement. Instead, he wants the Blues to stay in-house.
The Chelsea legend has named 18-year-old Jake Clarke-Salter as the man he wants to take his place in the starting line-up.
Terry, 35, is out of contract in the summer and is preparing to have talks with incoming boss Antonio Conte about his future. Should Conte decide Terry is no longer worthy, the former England defender will end his long-term association with the west London club.
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Clarke-Salter plays for England’s Under-19 squad, and was handed a four-year contract by Chelsea last year. The club, as well as Terry, have high hopes for the defender.
He made his professional debut at Aston Villa earlier in the month and high hopes are expected of the defender. Especially after Terry claimed: “He reminds me a bit of myself.”
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“Jake has a great attitude,” Terry said, per the Mirror. “I remember watching him a couple of years ago being in control of the game and a really vocal player. He reminds me a bit of myself.
If that’s the case, then Chelsea’s future is bright. Clarke-Salter might not be ready to start just yet but the thought of him and Kurt Zouma at the heart of the defence will leave fans drooling.
Terry continued: “[Jake] is doing great and I hope he goes on to take my position and get in the first team. It was great for him to make his debut.
"I was disappointed I wasn't there to support him because I missed the game [through injury]. But watching it from home, I was delighted.”
Clarke-Salter came on for Pedro in the second half of Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Terry missed the game through an Achilles injury, and he revealed earlier in the week that he is undergoing platelet rich plasma therapy to speed up his recovery.
He took to Instagram with an image of himself in surgical clothing with the caption: “PRP Being injured is the most frustrating thing as a player. Working hard to get back fit.”
Chelsea fans are desperate to see Terry, who has made over 700 appearances for the club, back in a Blues shirt.
If this does turn out to be his final season at Stamford Bridge, he won’t remember it too fondly.
The Blues are 10th in the table and are bracing themselves for their first season without European football since the 2002-03 campaign.
The sooner he’s back, the better. Clarke-Salter would certainly benefit if given the chance to play alongside the Chelsea hero.