New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said John Terry will remain club captain this season regardless of whether he is on the pitch.
Conte was confirmed as Chelsea’s new manager in April, when Guus Hiddink was in interim charge and there were significant doubts over Terry’s future at the club.
The 35-year-old ultimately put pen to paper on a new one-year contract in May but had previously said he would have to accept a “different role” at the club.
Conte has finally arrived at Stamford Bridge after having led Italy to the quarterfinals at Euro 2016 and, in his first news conference, told reporters: “John Terry signed a contract as a player, not as a different role.
“He’s a player with a great personality a great charisma. I like to speak with him because I know that he knows the club, has the right spirit to play in the club, and for me is an important player, like the other players.”
Conte on captain John Terry’s role within the squad… https://t.co/HhC28Dl5ex
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There has been suggestions Terry will have limited involvement in Conte’s plans, but the former Juventus boss said: “When a player deserves to play, with me he plays.”
Conte said that, regardless of whether Terry is in the side, he will remain club captain.
“John Terry is the captain of Chelsea when he plays, when he doesn’t play,” he said. “He is the captain of Chelsea always.
“He is a great player with a great personality and charisma. He knows the club.”
Asked whether he had played a role in deciding to prolong Terry’s stay, Conte said: “Yes.
“I repeat that John Terry is an important player for the club. All decisions we take together with the club.
“I’m very happy. I spoke with him at different times and for me it was the most important thing that John when he signed was very, very happy.”