Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has revealed his belief that John Terry and the remainder of the old guard at the club should be axed.
Antonio Conte and his men have started the season with three successive wins in all competitions, with Terry back in the line-up consistently and playing an important role for the Italian tactician.
Although the 47-year-old has made no secret of his desire to add depth to his backline, there’s no suggestion that he isn’t happy with Terry’s contribution thus far.
Despite having now made 705 appearances for the club since making his debut in 1998, Leboeuf believes that it’s time for the 35-year-old and a few of his teammates to step aside and let younger players take their roles.
While Conte has a lack of options at his disposal currently which prevents him from doing so, it remains to be seen as to whether or not he is able to bring in fresh faces before the transfer deadline.
“I am a Chelsea fan, even though I don’t play for them anymore, and last season was a very bad season,” the Frenchman told The Sun. “It was not what you expected from Chelsea, with all the fantastic players they have. It was a very bad season.
“I hope this season they will go back to who they are and where they should be, and that is the top four, challenging for the title, but they have to think of the future.
“Some players are older now. There are not only question marks over John Terry, but Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic as well.
“Those players have had a fantastic time at Chelsea, but maybe now it is time to think about the future.”
All three players mentioned by Leboeuf are 30 and over, but such is the connection with the supporters, particularly in the case of Terry, it’s unclear as to how popular a move it would be to simply just cut them out of the team if they are performing well.
Conte will undoubtedly be aware of the requirement to think long-term and replace them with capable successors, and that may well be a process that starts before the deadline. However, for the time being, their experience and quality is bringing a lot to the Chelsea team and it’s unlikely Leboeuf will get his wish immediately.