Chelsea might start the 2016/17 season without their influential captain John Terry for the first time in over 15 seasons. Terry, 35 is yet to be offered a new deal by the club and there have been talks of the Chelsea skipper moving to MLS or to Danish club Brondby.
With Chelsea’s proposed Stamford Bridge exit, Chelsea will have no real leaders left at the club. Following Terry’s departure only Gary Cahill (30), Branislav Ivanovic (32) and Cesc Fabregas (28) will be the senior players at Chelsea who can be given the captain’s armband for next season.
At this moment, Antonio Conte is the most likely be to the next Chelsea manager, however, The Italian will have his work cut out in signing a player which has leadership abilities in abundance.
I read a story in ESPN last week which stressed on how Conte has vetoed a move against John Stones and instead wants Leonardo Bonucci as Chelsea’s major defensive signing next season.
Given Stones’ lack of experience and Chelsea’s desperate need to bring experienced players, Bonucci would be a better signing than Stones at the moment.
Elsewhere we constantly read stories of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Edinson Cavani being linked with Chelsea. They may be great players but none of them are leaders on the pitch who can pull the team through in tough situations.
Manchester United suffered the same fate last season by allowing the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Robin Van Persie and Darren Fletcher to leave in the same season. Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick were the only ones left at the club who were worthy of leading the United side.
However, Chelsea do not have the same luxury once Terry leaves the club next season. Gary Cahill may have recently captained England in Rooney’s absence but not long ago, he was the third choice Chelsea defender behind Kurt Zouma.
As for Branislav Ivanovic, he has only managed to save himself from getting the stick after finding some of his last season’s form. He is certainly not a dependable player anymore and cannot be trusted with captain’s armband next season.
That is why Chelsea need to buy more leaders before signing the big name players. Unless there is a player who can keep the squad together and inspire them to do well like John Terry has done over the years, Chelsea will find it very hard to replicate their 2014/15 performance in coming seasons.
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