Is he simply the ‘best ever’ at Chelsea and in the Premier League?

Jose Mourinho has recently confirmed that John Terry will be offered an 18-month contract extension that will take the Chelsea captain into his 18th straight Premier League season.

The 34-year-old has been in impressive form this season and has cemented his place alongside Gary Cahill in the heart of Chelsea’s defence. He has been one of the best players for the Blues so far, contributing two Premier League goals against Stoke City and West Ham.

The best thing about John Terry is that he shows little sign of slowing down. Recent Opta stats revealed that the centre back has a higher tackle success rate this season compared to 2004/05. He also wins more duels in a match and gives away fewer fouls. These stats reflect that the Chelsea captain is still a class act at the highest level. In fact, he is probably the best centre-back the Premier League has ever seen.

Over the years, there have been some world-class centre-backs that have graced the Premier League. The likes of Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Staam, Nemanja Vidic and Marcel Desailly have been stand out performers in the Premier League over the years but John Terry is easily up there with the best. His reading of the game compensates brilliantly for his lack of pace, meaning that he is always in the right place at the right time, intercepting passes and making intelligent tackles.

He is also one of the toughest defenders in the league, and can easily deal with some of the strongest forwards in the league. He is a good old-fashioned centre back who plays the game simply and effectively. One element of his game that isn’t praised as much as it should be is his distribution and ball skills from the back. He has the ability to pick a pass and dribble out of defence, as well as the ability to chip in with a goal every now and then. Rio Ferdinand was probably one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in his prime so Terry’s ability was probably overshadowed by the Manchester United great.

However, Terry’s technical brain is one of the best in the business and the fact that he is still performing at the highest level shows that he still possesses the class that made him one of England’s finest.

Talking of England, his performances so far this season suggest that he could still start and play well for the national team. The fact that the latter stages of his time with England was surrounded by controversy will probably be one of the things John Terry regrets when he looks back on his career. Realistically, Terry could probably still be playing for England. However, his international retirement has proved a timely decision as he is still constantly performing at club level on a regular basis. If Terry was still playing international football, his dominance at Premier League level would not be as prominent as it is now.

Overall, John Terry will continue to perform at the highest level until he retires from football altogether. Throughout this season, his quality has been undisputed. He is still the finest centre-back in the league at the moment and a Premier League title at the end of 2014/15 will be a just reward for a centre back that typifies the mould of an all-English centre-back.