Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has told talkSPORT John Terry is still a key figure on the pitch and in the dressing room for the club.
Terry’s future at Stamford Bridge was in doubt in the summer when he revealed he was set to leave with no deal in place to extend his contract.
Chelsea came under fire for an apparent lack of loyalty to the skipper, and soon offered him a one-year extension to stay for another season.
While there are some who have have questioned Terry’s ability to stay at the top level given his advancing years, there can be little doubt of his importance to the side who have struggled at the back without his leadership.
The former England defender has not played since suffering ligament damage in the 2-2 draw with Swansea a month ago, and Chelsea look defensively vulnerable with Gary Cahill and David Luiz together at the back.
Antonio Conte could be given some good news with Terry likely to be back in the side for Saturday’s game against Leicester, and Begovic insists his return would be a huge boost for the Blues.
“It’s always good to have JT around,” the Bosnian glovesman told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“He’s our captain and he’s still a fantastic player, so whenever he’s available and fit it’s positive for us.
“Overall we’ve got a very good defensive group, all our players have great quality.
“But the fact is that over the last month or so we’ve had a lot of changes, players have come in and out with injuries, and maybe that has disrupted things for us a little bit.
“But having JT in there only adds to the group. His leadership on and off the pitch is key to us, so he’s definitely a great player to have around.”