Friday, August 19, 2022

Done Deal: Is This Legend’s Career Over At Chelsea?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Regardless of whichever club you support, Antonio Conte is a manager who would easily excite you. His animatic presence on the touchline, pure passion for the game which gets reflected time and time again and pure tactical intelligence have all worked together brilliantly to resurrect Chelsea from the ashes to realistic title contenders. Chelsea were absolutely dominant on Saturday as they had a 5-0 rout over a strong Everton side.

The transformation of Chelsea is quite thrilling and it is Conte who deserves all the plaudits. Since Chelsea’s humiliating loss to rivals Arsenal, the Blues have switched to a back three and have kept clean sheets in all five Premier League games. The back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Gary Cahill has worked wonders meaning that fit-again Kurt Zouma and ‘captain, leader, legend’ John Terry will find it hard to get into the starting XI unless either of the current back three gets injured or suspended.

A question that will obviously arise in our minds now is, “Is John Terry’s time up at Stamford Bridge?” There is a substantial amount of interest from China for the former English skipper and a player of his caliber and stature will definitely attract plenty more. With Terry getting hardly any time on the pitch, those are only going to intensify.

Age is an inevitable thing that does not wait for anybody and footballers are no exception to this. Getting old is kind of the worst thing that can happen to a player, and it doesn’t matter how successful their career has been or how much he has contributed to the club. Keeping emotions out of the equation, you first need to be professional.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Michail Antonio of West Ham United (L) and John Terry of Chelsea (R) battle for possession during the EFL Cup fourth round match between West Ham United and Chelsea at The London Stadium on October 26, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Terry is one of the most iconic players to ever put on a Chelsea jersey. The ever-reliable Chelsea soldier signed a one-year contract extension at the end of the last season when Conte arrived at the helm and needed the Chelsea legend to play an integral role in his rebuilding of the squad. Even though Terry is not playing much right now since his injury, he still has a role and needs to be at the club until the summer.

Right now, Chelsea are playing three at the back with Azpilicueta, Luiz, and Cahill. Each week, the Blues are looking more dangerous but Conte must ensure that he has enough squad depth in order to keep up the title mount even if an injury bug stings the side. On top of that, losing an influential member of the dressing room like Terry may affect the side morally. Even if Terry is not there on the pitch, he offers a lot of it and Conte would not want to lose him in the mid-season.

Terry’s contract is up for expiry in the next summer and from both the club’s and the player’s point of view, parting ways will make sense then but not in the mid-season. In January, getting players is difficult and even if Chelsea manage to sign a defender to replace Terry, his influence is too big and no one can overshadow that.

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