Who Can Replace JT as Captain Fantastic?

With plans for new managers and a younger squad, Chelsea will soon begin moving away from Captain John Terry, who is 32 this year. At 34 and 30 the vice-captain Lampard and third choice Petr Cech may not last much longer either. Too young for the role is Romeu, Oscar, Moses and Hazard, but there is a number of players in the right age group who could take the armband from John Terry. Justin Cormick takes a look at some options for the new captain of Chelsea.

David Luiz
The Brazilian has earned a reputation at Chelsea as the club clown. Luiz can play extremely well at times and defend against the best, but he has also receives regular criticism for defensive errors. He scores the occasional goal which is always impressive for a defender.
At twenty-five, Luiz will need to start maturing his gameplay and playing more consistently. However, even this does not seem likely to earn him the captaincy of Chelsea.
Ramires Santos do Nascimento arrived in London in 2010, but took some time to settle into his new team. By the end of last season the Brazilian proved to be a key player in Chelsea’s race to the Champions League final. Occasionally playing on the wing, Ramires seems better fit in the holding midfield role left vacant by the injured Lampard.
When the vice-captain returns from injury it will be seen how important Ramires is to the team. This importance will show how likely it is that Ramires could ever make team captain.
John Obi Mikel
The midfielder has frequently been referred to as Chelsea’s unsung hero, perhaps too frequently for it too still be applicable. Mikel has been brilliant in the defensive midfield position, has been at the club since 2006, and at 25 is certainly captain material.
However, replacing the inspirational John Terry will require more. His leadership qualities may not be as high as the current captain, or even some other current players. With some maturity, Mikel may become a better option, but he is not quite there yet.
Gary Cahill
Similarly to Ramires, it took Cahill time to play his best at Chelsea. He has since paired up expertly with Terry in defence. Cahill has also managed to score a few goals. There is no denying he has many similarities to Chelsea’s current captain, and could potentially receive the arm band himself one day.
He has only been at the club since 2012, however. And at 27 this year, Cahill may not make captain before Terry, Lampard and Cech depart.
Juan Mata
Mata has been a key attacking player since his arrival last season. And while he may not be there yet, he will soon become a Chelsea legend. The diminutive Spaniard has proven to be an influential leader on the field, changing momentum by scoring and creating goals, but his off-field leadership is yet to be revealed.
At 24, perhaps Mata’s age gives him an advantage over Cahill, but it depends how long Terry lasts. He has proven himself on the field, but Mata will need to step-up off the pitch to show if he deserves Terry’s armband.
If Cahill is compared to Terry, perhaps Mata has similarities to Lampard, who has managed to lead the team well during matches but never made captain. In this sense Mata may also never make captain. However, with the difficulties Chelsea has had with Terry in recent times, perhaps a captain like Mata would not be a bad thing, but only time will tell. JC

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