Chelsea will suffer a “great loss” when John Terry leaves at the end of the season, according to former coach Ray Wilkins.
The Blues captain announced after Sunday’s 5-1 FA Cup win over MK Dons that he will call time on his long association with the club when his contract expires in June, but Wilkins feels the Premier League outfit should be looking to keep him.
“I’m slightly flabbergasted to be perfectly honest,” the 59-year-old told Sky Sports News.
“His performance is at a very similar level to last season, when he played every game. This year he’s been a major player in Chelsea’s season.
“Okay the Premier League isn’t going as well as it should be, but it’s not only on the field that John has the qualities every club desires – it’s off the field. He leads the club, he leads the players in that dressing room wonderfully well, he always has done and I’m sure until he leaves he still will do.
“I think he’ll be a great loss to Chelsea, I really do. I think there’s still another year left in John.”
Reflecting on a Chelsea first-team career that started with his debut against Aston Villa in 1998 and has since taken in four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups and success in the Champions League and Europa League, Wilkins described Terry’s contribution as “outstanding”.
He added: “He’s been a stalwart. Not everything has gone right in his career, but his performance on the field has been absolutely outstanding.
“It’s endless what John’s done. But what he’s done off the field for the club has been equally as good as what he’s done on it. He’s been an absolute credit to himself and to the football club.”