After being substituted at half-time against Manchester City on Sunday, it appears Chelsea Captain John Terry is no longer guaranteed a starter in the side.
Terry, now 34, was run ragged by Sergio Aguero at the Etihad Stadium, prompting Blues manager Jose Mourinho into an uncharacteristic change at the break.
This move signaled the end of an incredible personal record for Terry, who (prior to Sunday’s clash) hadn’t been subbed in 176 consecutive games. This was also the first time Mourinho had ever taken his Captain off the field – perhaps highlighting the former England International’s transition into the ‘twilight’ stage of his career.
Terry has won four Premier league titles, five FA Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League during 17 years at Stamford Bridge. However, with the emergence of young defender Kurt Zouma, it appears Terry can no longer be guaranteed a starting place in the squad – regardless of his captaincy.
Mourinho told the BBC:
‘I brought my captain off and he was on the bench and still captain on the bench because the armband is just an armband. It was clear to me Zouma had to play.’
Conversely, Chelsea have also been in the transfer market for another centre-half this summer, bidding twice for Everton defender John Stones. If a deal is reached, it could further shove Terry down the pecking order in central London and perhaps edge him closer to the exit door.