Much maligned and seemingly never too far away from controversy, John Terry is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
However, the Chelsea skipper has been rejuvenated under Jose Mourinho this season and will take his Blues side to face Manchester City on Monday night.
With the west London outfit’s deadline day signing of Kurt Zouma, many are predicting that this will be the former England captain’s final season at Stamford Bridge.
However, one man with plenty of experience in playing against Terry has backed the Chelsea captain as the Premier League’s best defender.
Jamie Carragher has spoken in his column for The Daily Mail of his respect for Terry, and admits that he feels that the veteran has what it takes to continue playing at the highest level.
“Terry had this ability to draw the ball to him like a magnet, always getting his head or his foot in the way just when it mattered,” the Liverpool legend said. “John was a better version of me and his form was one of the main reasons I retired from England.
“If you asked me to select an all-time Premier League XI, he would be the first pick at the heart of my defence.
“Some outstanding central defenders have graced the Premier League, such as Rio Ferdinand, Ricardo Carvalho, Jaap Stam, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and Vincent Kompany - players with the medals to match their talent. Terry, however, is the pick of the bunch.”
With England heading to the World Cup in Brazil this summer, there have been rumblings that Terry could come out of retirement for the tournament.
Carragher has stated that Terry is more than good enough to still represent his nation, but feels the chances are slim of the Chelsea man boarding the plane to South America.
“He remains England's best in his position but I don't believe for a minute Roy Hodgson should think about enticing him back to be part of his World Cup squad - there is too much history there,” Carragher continued.
“Nor do I think John would be well served ending his international retirement. Clearly he is benefitting from a lesser workload and that will help prolong his career.
“Chelsea are looking to the future, as their signing of Kurt Zouma shows, but they should offer Terry a new deal, given how he has served them. And, more importantly, what he can continue to give them.”
Terry’s contract expires in the summer, with no indication over whether he will stay with the Blues or be released to find a new challenge.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald