Saturday 24 March 2018

Conte eager to send Terry into the sunset with a Double

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte and John Terry. Photo: PA
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte and John Terry. Photo: PA

John Percy

John Terry's 22-year association with Chelsea could finally be over this summer, with Antonio Conte scouring Europe for a newer model.

Terry made only his eighth start under Conte in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux, yet the dream scenario of him signing off with a Double is there - and, for the cynics, possibly a convenient way to part company.

When asked his thoughts on Chelsea's captain lifting the FA Cup at the end of the season, Conte said: "I'd sign now for this.

"The most important thing is now, the present, to work and build a good future. Then, yes, for sure we will see the situation of every single player and we try to make the best decision for every single player.

"I'm pleased to give him the opportunity to play but not because there is a sentiment.

"I think John Terry deserved to play this game and he played very well. I'm very happy for him. For me, he's a very important player, my captain and he's important on and off the pitch.

"He's helping me a lot and I'm very pleased to have him in my squad and also to know this type of person."

Conte made seven changes at Molineux yet this was still another ruthlessly efficient performance.

Wolves produced an energetic, vibrant first-half display which unsettled the Premier League leaders with former Chelsea midfielder George Saville striking an upright early on.

However, Wolves struggled to match that intensity in the second period and Chelsea exploited the gaps to ensure they did not join Liverpool and Stoke in the list of Paul Lambert's victims.

Pedro provided the clinical finish to a fine counter-attack in the 65th minute to put Chelsea ahead before Diego Costa pounced with his 16th goal of the season just before the final whistle. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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