With Chelsea’s tumultuous season now at an end, the Blues face what could prove a chaotic summer. If the rumours are to be believed, there will be plenty of chopping and changing at Stamford Bridge over the course of the coming transfer window.
However, while that it is a certainty, John Terry’s future at the club certainly isn’t. Albeit the west London side now offering their skipper a new one-year contract, the appeal of this fresh deal is unknown.
At least in the back of their minds, Chelsea must start plotting their future without Terry if he does refuse the new offer. If the seemingly improbable does occur, there appears nobody more qualified to inherit the captaincy than Cesar Azpilicueta.
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If Terry’s leadership at Stamford Bridge has stood for anything it has been setting an example for his teammates. Any proposed successor would have to step up to the gauntlet and Azpilicueta certainly wields the desired characteristics.
In four years at the club the Spaniard has barely put a foot wrong. Even throughout the dark months under Jose Mourinho at the beginning of the campaign, Mr. Consistent miraculously evaded a dip in form.
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The 26-year-old has arguably been Chelsea’s best signing of the past five years and can never be found tarnishing the club’s name via any sort of negative press. While he proves the polar opposite of a champagne player, there’s nobody better when the chips are down.
As regards discipline and self-control, Azpilicueta is the leading example. Albeit being flung from flank to flank this season also, not once could he be seen throwing his toys out the pram.
For the aforementioned reasons, the Spaniard proves the perfect candidate.
A regular in the team, a credit to the club, a man of great pride and consistency, Chelsea should simply look no further.
Moreover, if the armband was passed to Azpilicueta it would prove a long-term move. While Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic also prove appealing replacements, their careers are only on the wane.
At 26-years-old, the full-back has plenty still to give but also enough experience on his shoulders to lead the side. It’s not hard to envisage him proving Antonio Conte’s right hand man and a beacon for the club.
The Blues are beginning to blood more young players and few colleagues exemplify professionalism quite like Azpilicueta. Replacing Terry is of course impossible but the Spaniard could make inroads as regards filling his boots.
Despite it remaining unclear whether Terry will continue with his current role at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea should certainly have Azpilicueta waiting in the wings. Besides, even if JT remains another year, the armband should only be heading in one direction beyond 2016-17 at the least.
Who do you think should be Chelsea's next captain? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!