Chelsea have belatedly opened talks over a new contract with captain John Terry, although the club’s policy of only offering one-year contracts to players over 30 could prove a sticking point.
In and out of the side under Andre Villas-Boas and Rafael Benitez last season, the return of mentor Jose Mourinho has seen the 33-year-old back to his best.
Terry has missed just two Premier League games all term, having missed 27 in through injury or having been overlooked in 2012/13.
The Chelsea rearguard has kept 12 of their 13 clean sheets in the competition under his watchful gaze and they can be backed to deny Arsenal a goal when the Gunners visit Stamford Bridge at 27/20.
A £30 free bet is the sweetener for new punters signing up at bwin.com today and it’s a nest egg that a Terry-masterminded shutout could turn into £40.50 if backed.
Given his importance to the squad it beggars belief that it has taken until now to begin contract talks with man who, along with and perhaps even more so than Frank Lampard, defines the glory-filled years of Chelsea under the reign of Roman Abramovich.
Among his positional partners at the Bridge only Gary Cahill approaches Terry’s stature and reliability and even he is some way off.
David Luiz, though lovable as he is, is seemingly not trusted in the big games, while Branislav Ivanovic has carved out an alternative niche as one of the Premier League’s most underrated right-backs.
As such, Chelsea can ill afford to penny-pinch when it comes to retaining a man with a massive role to play in both their short and long term future and should be falling over themselves to offer Terry the longer deal he desires.
Saint Etienne youngster Kurt Zouma arrives on the King’s Road with his suitcases in the summer, having been signed in January.
Who better to guide the development of a man Didier Deschamps described as a future France captain than the man who, some would say, should still be captaining England?