Joe Cole is worried that Chelsea will miss John Terry more than they might have imagined next season as the defender looks for other opportunities away from Stamford Bridge.
Terry is Chelsea’s most successful ever captain, having lifted 15 major honours during his 22-year stay at the west London club.
Cole played alongside the centre-back for seven of those years in a Chelsea shirt and lined up alongside him for England, and thinks that a “void” will be left after he departs.
“He is the greatest captain in the club’s history, that’s for sure,” Cole told Goal at the Tampa’s Contemporary and Modern Art Museum. “It is going to be a big miss for the club, I am sure the people will have an idea of what they can do to replace him but he might be one of those players that you don’t realise the void until he is gone.
“It is going to be tough to replace him. He has had a magic career. He has got many good years ahead of him, I am sure. He is one of the greatest, for sure. Time will be kind on JT, what he has achieved and his longevity as well. He is one of the greats – a top, top player.
“On the ball he was brilliant, he could play with both feet, his organisation [was great]. You ask any striker who has played against him and it was a complete nightmare for them. He has a great understanding of the game.
“You don’t get into that category that he has put himself in without having all the aspects that you need. He will go down as a true warrior. Someone who made players around him better so I can’t speak highly enough of him and what he has done.”
Terry has been linked with a host of clubs in England, with Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth and Swansea City amongst the names linked with securing him for the 2017-18 season.
Meanwhile, Cole is continuing his career in the United States and he has been lining up for Tampa Bay Rowdies for over a year. Cole admits that he did suggest a US move to Terry and he understands his friend’s motivation to carry on playing.
“I told him how good it was when I was out here,” Cole added. “I know that there were options for him over here but he had to sit down with his family [and see what was best].
“He has got an enthusiasm for playing football which shines through when he plays, he loves competing. So when that leaves you, that’s when you pack it in. No-one should tell you when it is the right time [to retire].
“It’s different, some people like to go out on the top, others like to carry on going and squeeze as much out of it as possible. He still has the desire to play.”