Chelsea see promoted defensive pair as future Terry replacements

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Eventually, there will come a day when John Terry doesn’t play football for Chelsea any more. At 35-years-old, that time is creeping ever closer.

The Blues were linked with a number of centre-backs during the recent transfer window, albeit they would have initially played alongside the club captain had they arrived.

As it was moves for Kalidou Koulibaly, Leonardo Bonucci and Alessio Romagnoli never materialised, leaving Antonio Conte plumping for David Luiz on Deadline Day.

That hasn’t ended the Italian’s recruitment drive at the heart of the defence though, with The Daily Mail suggesting Conte is now on the hunt to find a successor for Terry.

The two names the paper offers up as the leading candidates are a little surprising though, with Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Burnley man Michael Keane the pair named.

Gibson, the son of Boro chairman Steve, is only three games into his Premier League career having won promotion to the top flight with the north east side last term.

Keane’s top-flight CV is more extensive, but not by much. A former Manchester United youth player, the 23-year-old played one league game for the Red Devils before switching to Turf Moor.

He was used 21 times by Sean Dyche the last time the Clarets sat at the top table and has featured in all three outings this time around.

It’s easy to see why Chelsea might want a young English defender to replace the iconic skipper that has made 486 league appearances for the Stamford Bridge side, but it still feels like a farfetched scenario.

In the era of mega-spending under Roman Abramovich’s watch, if Terry’s replacement isn’t already in Chelsea’s academy it’s far more likely that he’ll be brought in at some expense from overseas.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.