With John Terry set to finally leave Stamford Bridge this summer, Chelsea fans have been asked to vote on his successor as club captain.
It’s beginning to look like it’s the end of the road for Terry at his beloved Chelsea.
After being revived by Jose Mourinho en route to the Premier League title during the 2014/15 season, the centre back has seen his playing time cut short by new boss Antonio Conte, with the Italian having switched to his favoured three-man defence last year.
Terry still looks a happy man warming the Chelsea bench and getting the occasional run during cup matches. And earlier this season, he insisted that he would rather sit out the entire campaign as long as it meant that the side he has starred for since 1998 reclaimed their title.
Several reports have linked the 36-year-old to the MLS. It is now believed that Terry will move to the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season, following the path set by former England stars David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole.
The Blues haven’t known another captain since Jose Mourinho handed Terry the armband in 2004, but with his exit now seemingly imminent, fans could see another permanent skipper come to the fore.
Gary Cahill has been deputising for his fellow defender this season, and despite getting off to a shaky start at the back, the England international is thriving in Conte’s back three. He does look the natural successor, and many Chelsea supporters seem to echo the notion.
A 90min poll asked fans to vote for who they think should be the one to captain the side after Terry leaves. Cahill won the vote by a landslide figure of 46 per cent, coming out ahead of Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Eden Hazard after over 21,000 fans voiced their opinions.
Luiz actually does seem a great option. The comical Brazilian has shown remarkable maturity since returning from his two-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain, and is enjoying a near flawless campaign, despite playing with a knee injury for the majority of the season.
Before he left for France, fans would have never considered Luiz captain material, although he was a huge favourite at Stamford Bridge. Yet the frizzy-haired defender has shown a different side to his game this season, and earned 21 per cent of the votes.
Hazard and Fabregas were left to divide the remaining votes; the Belgian took 19 percent while the former Barcelona man garnered 14 per cent. The two midfielders have been quite influential this season, but Fabregas hasn’t been in the side consistently, so it would have been surprising to see him come out on top.
He has loads of experience, given he was Arsenal’s captain for three years. However, his future at Chelsea remains uncertain.
Hazard, on the other hand, seems to have leadership qualities himself, and is certainly the Blues’ most skilful player. He would probably make a good captain at Chelsea, but he doesn’t seem to possess the aura of a commanding dressing-room presence just yet.
He’s only 26 years old, so the sky really is the limit for what he could achieve at Chelsea, and the captaincy could be one of them.
For now, though, Cahill seems the obvious choice.