'JT Captain, Leader, Legend' reads a banner hanging in The Matthew Harding Stand, for all to see.
John Terry, captain of Chelsea FC, is beloved to Blues fans the world over, the fans who have seen him lift three Premier League trophies, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup and the European Cup.
John Terry has cemented his name in Chelsea folklore, overtaking Dennis Wise as the west London club's most successful captain of all time.
Despite his legendary status, it would be within Chelsea's best interests if this was the last season in which Terry holds a starting berth. At the ripe-old-age of 34, he is approaching the twilight of his career and it will not be long before Terry experiences worsening performances, decreasing physical abilities and, overall, his influence at the club waning.
In terms of replacements, in the current squad there is: Kurt Zouma, a quick, strong, powerful, aerially potent young Frenchman with a no-nonsense style of defending; Nathan Aké, a versatile Dutchman who can play at full-back, centre-half or in a centre-midfield role and is also comfortable with the ball at his feet; and Andreas Christensen, a tall, quick, ball-playing centre-half of Danish origin.
As well as the talent in the squad, Tomàš Kalas will spend this term on loan at Cologne, after catching-the-eye with an accomplished performance on his full Premier League debut, a 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
An abundance of aspiring defenders are biding their time, prepared to be transitioned into the first team once José Mourinho calls time on Terry's glittering career.
Additionally, Chelsea have been linked unrelentingly with Raphael Varane of Real Madrid and France. The 21-year-old was signed to Madrid under Mourinho, a man who has previously labeled Varane as 'the best young defender in the world'.
Terry broke into the Chelsea side as a youngster and would undoubtedly like to be replaced in the same fashion; allowing the future to run its course and with Chelsea's long-term future made the priority.
Furthermore, Terry would presumably wish to have a hand in the grafting of Chelsea's future and to be able to shape the club's next-in-line - the heir to his own throne.
Whether the legendary Terry is replaced by a highly-rated player of overseas origin, or by an enterprising youngster already possessed by Roman Abramovich's club, no matter how painful it is to say, it is best that Terry is no longer a fixture in Chelsea's side come next season.
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