John Terry's participation in the bigger matches for Chelsea will all but become more fleeting, talkSPORT reports.
Having started their Europa League second-leg game against Rubin Kazan on Thursday night on the right hand side of defence, speculation mounted as to whether Terry has fallen down the pecking order at the Bridge under Rafael Benitez.
The player was subsequently left out of Chelsea’s semi-final match against Manchester City in favour of Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz and it is believed that Terry also sits behind Gary Cahill.
Terry's usual place is on the left hand side of central defence and for the best part of the last decade, his inclusion in the Chelsea back four has been unquestionable - time and again being Chelsea's saviour and rock at the back.
However, his ensured starting place now seems to be in doubt with Benitez favouring a combination of Luiz, Cahill and Ivanovic. Critics over the past few months have pointed out Terry doesn't seem to have the commanding presence on the field that he used to. He has lost a few yards of pace, already proving costly in the campaign this season.
Terry's last involvement in a big clash was against Liverpool on November 11th and his place on the bench against Manchester City is a position he may have to get used to according to Andy Gray.
"Since Rafa took over, John has been a bit-part player,” he said during talkSPORT.
“Terry is not starting if Chelsea make the final of the Europa League."
Gray continued to say that the reason Terry had started on the right against Rubin Kazan was because he was no longer first choice left side centre back; that role has fallen to Luiz.
The future for the ex-England captain seems unsure under the leadership of Rafael Benitez with Andy Gray concluding with this frank statement: "The only way Terry will get into the side is if there is a problem with injured players. His days of being first choice, under this coach, are over."
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