Stan Collymore faced up to a few top Premier League defenders in his time, with the former Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Aston Villa striker well placed to pass judgement on what separates the good from the great.
Among those he considers to fall into the latter of those categories is Chelsea skipper John Terry.
A Stamford Bridge stalwart, the former England captain has been a talismanic figure for the Blues for some 15 years.
He remains an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s plans at the age of 34 and will have a vital role to play in Chelsea’s push for multiple major honours this season.
Collymore says Terry remains among the best in the business, along with Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, and would be amazed if Mourinho and his board are not in the process of piecing together an extension to a current 12-month deal which is due to expire next summer.
He wrote in the Daily Mirror: “If I was to draw up my team of the season so far, John Terry would be the first name on the teamsheet.
His performances are so impressive and consistent – it seems age is no barrier when you are a master in the art of defending. He is now 34-years-old but I am seeing no signs of a player on the decline.
“Before Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge we wondered if JT’s days were coming to an end but I can only see a situation now whereby he is handed another contract extension.
“And I seriously wonder if we will see players of his kind ever again. You look at developing players at our top clubs these days and see most lads are jack of all trades, master of none. But Terry realised his strengths from a very early age and has always played to them.
“Maybe players are just taught to be more versatile these days but, for me, Terry is on a par with Vincent Kompany as the best defender in the Premier League.”
Terry has started 22 games in all competitions for Chelsea this season, helping them to progress positively in Premier League, Champions League and Capital One Cup competition.
He is a man with multiple honours to his name and 78 caps for his country, but he remains as hungry as ever for success.
It would be a massive shock were Chelsea not thinking of keeping him on, but they did allow Frank Lampard to walk away at the end of his deal and have been working with one eye on the future.