Once Aston Villa’s play off dreams were left in tatters by Fulham, you knew it wouldn’t be long before the clearout began.
Sure enough, just a few days later, the Villains announced, through their social media channels, that captain John Terry was leaving.
Unable to continue to pay his not insignificant wages, regrettably the Midlanders were left with little choice.
The swiftness with which the announcement has come, however, should help both player and club and for that, Villa should be applauded.
He leaves behind a gaping hole and Steve Bruce is unlikely to be able to fill it with someone of Terry’s calibre.
For all of his off-field shenanigans, Terry remains the consummate professional on the pitch.
A true warrior, he commands respect with ease and continues to lead by example.
Despite his advancing years – he’ll be 38 halfway through the 2018/19 campaign – there still seems to be enough in his natural game to suggest that a handful of Premier League clubs offering him a one-year deal wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility.
He’s lost a yard of pace, and that’s to be expected, but his positional sense and reading of the game are still top class.
Still as fit as a fiddle, some of his old school training workouts at Villa – up and down each set of stairs in the lower Holte End – would put some of the youngsters to shame.
The lack of take up from Premier League clubs for his services this time last year would indicate that the buyers market is a small one, but there’s arguably a few clubs that would benefit from his experience.
Coming home to west London could be an option, with Fulham, the club who denied him a top flight return at the first time of asking, one who could afford his salary.
Neil Warnock at Cardiff is precisely the type of manager who would love to have Terry at the heart of his backline, but whether owner Vincent Tan is willing to put his hand in his pocket isn’t known at this juncture.
If he keeps himself fit over the next couple of months and into pre-season, there’s no reason that he can’t earn himself a contract.
And being back in the English top flight would be the most appropriate way for him to bring the curtain down on what’s been a fabulous, if controversial, career.
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