Cesc Fabregas says John Terry is ‘irreplaceable’ for Chelsea as the long-serving skipper prepares to leave Stamford Bridge.
The 36-year-old defender announced earlier this week that he will move on at the end of the season after more than two decades at the club.
“It came as a surprise,” said Fabregas, speaking exclusively to talkSPORT ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham.
“There was a lot of talk and speculation that it could be his last year but we didn’t know for sure. It is a very personal decision between him and the club.
“It is a shame because I cannot see anyone replacing the role he does in the team. He is irreplaceable for now.”
Terry is Chelsea’s most decorated player of all-time having won the Champions League, four Premier League titles, the Europa League, five FA Cups and three League Cups after progressing through the club’s academy.
He could yet walk away with another two honours, with the Blues leading the Premier League and bidding to reach the FA Cup final this weekend.
And Fabregas admits Terry’s impending departure has given the Chelsea squad added motivation in their hunt for silverware.
“We will miss him,” said the Spaniard.
“Hopefully, we can lift trophies at the end of the season for him.
“You always play the game at your maximum but to be able to win two trophies for him and lift them before he goes and says goodbye to everyone would be major for him and fantastic for Chelsea.”