Former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly has urged ex-teammate John Terry to call it a day on his playing career at the end of this season.
The Frenchman enjoyed an illustrious playing career of his own during spells with Marseille and AC Milan, and had a successful time at Stamford Bridge between 1998 and 2004.
Having left the club due to the fierce competition provided from Terry and William Gallas, Desailly has insisted that his former teammate needs to walk away now as he continues to play a back-up role for Antonio Conte.
“I left because they were faster than me, better than me and it was my time to go — their time to shine — and now it’s his time,” Desailly told Sportsmail.
“It’s great to see that he’s been able to handle it. You are the captain, you have been put to the side a bit because other players are more suited for the tactics required, but you’re still there present, you are still there focused.”
Terry has played just six minutes of Premier League football since September with Conte making changes to his system and personnel.
Having settled on a 3-4-3 formation, the Italian tactician has deployed Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpiilcueta in his three-man defence, forcing Terry to watch on from the sidelines in a role that he has admirably accepted.
The 36-year-old has had an exceptional career at Chelsea, but as Desailly notes, it looks as though the right time has come to step aside and let the younger players take over with Kurt Zouma also waiting in the wings.
His leadership and presence will certainly be a huge loss in the dressing room and around the training ground, but provided that he is offered a coaching role this summer as he has started his badges, then he’ll still be around to offer advice and guidance where required.