Cahill: I can never replace Terry

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Gary Cahill says he has learned from the best in John Terry, but insists he will never be able to fill the Chelsea captain’s boots.

England defender Cahill has been a mainstay of the Chelsea defence since moving to Stamford Bridge from Bolton Wanderers in January 2012 and for the majority of that time has partnered Blues legend Terry at centre-back.

However, this season Terry has found himself out of the line-up in Antonio Conte’s favoured 3-4-3 formation, leaving Cahill to wear the armband.

Cahill spoke about filling in as captain and says he has learned plenty from Terry’s approach to the game and will continue to do so while he remains at Stamford Bridge.

“I would never try to fill John Terry’s boots. You can never fill that position. When I took over as captain this season, either through him not being picked or not being available, it was a privilege to do that,” Cahill told Standard Sport.

“Firstly, I have learned from how he manages himself, how he plays and how he does things. But secondly, I never thought for one minute, or will ever think, that I am replacing him.

“He is right at the top and whoever comes in after him is never going to achieve what he has done at the club. It is one of those situations where you have to separate yourself from it.

“The way that I prepare, the way that I play, the way that I like to speak to the lads or manage situations is the way that I do things.

“Nothing has changed in my game since I had that armband, apart from the fact I am now 31 and I have learned a lot from someone like him. I will continue to learn from him while he is at the club. I have been my own man. I feel like I can be me but I have obviously learned from the best.”

Cahill added that Terry has left him to act as captain in his own way.

“We have a great relationship, everyone knows that. John leaves me to get on with it,” he added.

“I do not think he looks at me like a 21-year-old coming through. He knows I have played my fair share of big games and am experienced enough to handle it.

“At the same time, I have always tried in my career to look at what people do and soak it in myself. I just watch and learn from all kinds of people and he is, obviously, one of them.”