Chelsea transfers: Five replacements for club captain John Terry


Robbie Purves | February 2, 2016

After more than 450 appearances and 14 major trophies, John Terry is denied his fairytale ending.

Terry joined Chelsea at the age of 15 as a trainee from West Ham United, making his senior debut three years later in 1998. Since then, he led the Blues to four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three Capital One Cups, and European successes in Champions League and Europa League.

Hoping he would be given a 12-month extension, Terry was informed of Chelsea’s decision not to renew his contract prior to their clash with Arsenal.

Terry is now 6/1 with Coral to join any Chinese club, and 11/2 to join his former teammate Frank Lampard at New York City FC.

With Terry set to leave in the summer, who can replace him in the heart of the Stamford Bridge defence?

Matt Miazga

Touted as one of the MLS’s hottest prospects, the American joined the Blues in January for a fee of £3.5m. Speaking after Chelsea’s FA Cup clash against MK Dons, interim boss Guus Hiddink admitted to never seeing much of him at all.

However, unlike many youngsters brought to the Bridge, Hiddink said that Miazga would not follow the route of an immediate loan out. So if he isn’t going out on loan, do Chelsea see him as a potential replacement to departing legend Terry?

Standing at 6ft 4in, the USA international, much like Terry, is a dominant force in the air. However, unlike the outgoing Blues skipper, Miazga does not take his defensive areal superiority to the opponents’ box.

Miazga has only one career goal; this needs to change if he is going to fill the shoes of the Chelsea legend, who made a habit of scoring vital goals. He also has other talents that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Unlike other defenders of his height, Miazga can play with the ball and often brings it out from defence to kick-start attacks.

John Stones

Despite his recent dip in form, Stones is still regarded as on of the world’s best young centre backs.

Chelsea submitted numerous bids in an attempt to prise him away from Premier League rivals Everton’s tight grip last summer, but failed as all were rejected. Expected to move this summer, Stones would could upwards of £45m.

Stones is superb with the ball, gliding past players with ease and executing passes that spark attacks. In this regard, he may be even better than Terry.

However, positionally Stones is prone to disaster, and makes mistakes in big games. Terry, in his prime, was flawless and put in his best performances in the moments that mattered most. To be a potential replacement, this is a aspect of his game Stones needs to improve.

Kurt Zouma

France prospect Zouma was ‘surprised’ by Chelsea’s decision not to renew Terry’s contract, but this may provide him with the chance to develop and prosper as their first-choice centre back.

After signing for the Blues in 2014, Zouma has impressed. Physically, he has no equal. He’s fast, strong and technically gifted. Because of this, he has been compared to former Les Bleus and Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly, who predicted he would become a ‘mainstay’ in the Chelsea and France team for ‘years to come’.

Promoting from within isn’t in line with Blues owner Roman Abramovich’s approach, within, but Zouma could be regarded as a legitimate replacement for Terry.

Never physically gifted, Terry wasn’t the strongest, nor was he the fastest, but it was his positional play and above all leadership that was so vital to Chelsea over their most successful years.

Zouma has received praise for his vocal presence – something that Terry provided in abundance. When he departs to pastures new, the organisational mantle should pass to the Frenchman, who has limitless potential.

Mats Hummels

Once regarded as one of the best centre backs in the world, Hummels has had a mixed, injury-plagued few seasons.

A World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, Hummels is physically strong, and known for his areal prowess and powerful tackling. He is also versatile, composed and elegant on the ball; something the modern game demands.

Hummels and Terry share a defensive style. Both have a superb ability to read the game and make interceptions. This might be borne out of the fact that the pair lack pace.

However, the speed and intensity of the Premier League may test Hummels beyond his limits. A move to Serie A or La Liga would perhaps suit him better.

Over the years, Borussia Dortmund have rejected countless bids from big clubs and the question remains whether they will be willing to let Hummels go.

Thomas Vermaelen

Despite having less than 10 appearances to his name in his two-year career at Barcelona, the injury prone ex-Arsenal skipper has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Vermaelen is behind Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu and Marc Bartra in the centre half pecking order, so has been used more regularly as a left back of late.

Former Gunners defender Vermaelen could see a move to Chelsea as a revitalising change – a move that could stop his career from falling into obscurity and irrelevance.

There are very little similarities between Terry and Vermaelen in terms of defensive style; he can’t read the game as well as Terry and used to rely on his athleticism to get him out of trouble.

That attribute is diminishing in Vermaelen, as injuries and age take their toll. Vermaelen does not posses the leadership qualities Terry does, relying on the vocal presence of a centre back partner.

However, he could rise to the challenge if given responsibility at Chelsea, but there is always a chance he could receive a season-ending injury.


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