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Keep, Sell, Loan: John Terry's 2015-16 season in review

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Taking a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of each and every Chelsea player's season. Next up, John Terry, captain, "populist" leader and legend.

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Appearances: 32 starts (+1 as substitute).
Minutes: 1991 in Premier League; 397 in domestic cups; 342 in Champions League.
Statistics (per 90 minutes, Premier League): 0.77 tackles won (50% success rate); 2.17 aerial duels won (68.57% successful challenges); 1.72 interceptions.

2014-15 was certainly a good season for John Terry.  At the age of 34, the Chelsea captain, leader, legend became just the second outfield player in Premier League's history to play in every minute of a title-winning campaign. After achieving the feat, Terry mocked former Chelsea manager Rafael Benítez who had claimed during his stay at the club that the English defender couldn't handle the hardships of playing two 90-minute games a week.

The start of the 2015-16 season for Terry wasn't as amusing, though.

A significant part of Terry's comeback under Mourinho's guidance would have to be attributed not only to the low-block system adopted by The Returning One, but also to the two players who had been shielding the left flank of our defence since January 2014, César Azpilicueta and Nemanja Matic. This trio formed a very strong partnership, so much so that most of Chelsea's goals conceded came from the other side, the often criticized Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill.  With Azpilicueta covering and Matic shielding, Terry's lack of pace was rarely exposed and he was more than able to make up for it with impeccable positioning and clean defending technique in and around the box.

Unsurprisingl, once Azpilicueta and Matic started to show signs of decline in their own form, Terry's performances fell away as well.  Stacks of cards and sandcastles and all that.

The first card fell in our game against Manchester City in August, where he was substituted by Mourinho at half time.  Teetering but surviving a subsequent red card, Terry eventually formed a decent partnership with Kurt Zouma, whose recovery skills managed to mask a few more of Terry's shortcomings.  Until Zouma got hurt in February.

By then, the second card fell as well, with Terry airing the dirty laundry of his failing contract talks with the Chelsea brass.  The move caught Chelsea off guard.  When they fired back and said that Terry would need to wait for the new manager to decide whether or not he would be of service in the next season, JT already had control of the fans and the narrative.  He's played this game for far too long to not win this PR battle.

In everyone's minds but out of sight thanks to another injury, Terry's contract saga dragged on until the very end of the season.  He played in only four matches after mid-February, getting suspended for Chelsea's last two matches of the season thanks to a red card, even.  It looked like that would be the final thing he'd ever do in his Chelsea career, but in the eleventh hour, the contract extension

A confluence of factors, from public pressure to perhaps the timely suspension as well as the supposed lure of Chinese football made Chelsea offer Terry a last-minute renewal.  Terms and guarantees were reportedly much lower than other potential offers, but Terry stuck to his word and his love of the club and signed on the dotted line.

So, Terry is staying, as captain and leader of Chelsea.  And there was much rejoicing.  Until we get to repeat this whole drama again next season.

The Good: Forming an often decent defensive partnership with young Kurt Zouma and playing a role in the kid's development as well.

The Bad: Playing alongside Gary Cahill.  Didn't see that one coming twelve months ago!

The Ugly: For someone supposedly good at organizing the defense, Chelsea looked far too disjointed in defense far too often.

Verdict: Putting sentimentality aside, Terry showed on many occasions this season that he isn't good enough to be the first choice centre back of a Premier League side looking to contend for top places in the league. He carries a lot of value in his leadership roles on and off the pitch, although it can be argued that he might cross boundaries at times.

While Terry did sign a new deal, it's likely that he won't be a starter for the team unless when in absolute need. And he shouldn't be.  Zouma's recovery from his ACL injury might set JT up to some opportunities to feature as starter but even then, it shouldn't impede Chelsea from getting a world-class centre back, preferably to fill Terry's role as first-choice center back from day 1.

Terry essentially strong-arming the club into an extension hasn't been the best thing he's ever done in his career, but perhaps this gives us a chance for a proper goodbye this season as he transitions into a more behind the scenes role.