• Incumbent keen to keep job and thinks Cech will succeed him
• 'But you look at David and he has done incredibly well'
John Terry believes that David Luiz is a future Chelsea captain which, coming from him, represents quite an endorsement. Terry's love of and devotion to the armband is well documented but there is the sense that his time at the club has entered its final phase and a changing of the guard could be on the agenda.
Terry says that his fellow stalwart Petr Cech would be his obvious successor; his respect for the goalkeeper runs deep. Y et David Luiz is the future and the flamboyant attack-minded Brazil defender stands to bring a freshness and dynamism to the role. He is the man of the moment after his jaw-dropping 30-yard strike fired Chelsea's 3-0 victory at Fulham on Wednesday and, behind the scenes at the club, he is considered to be captaincy material.
"I think so," Terry said when asked. "What he has shown here … Naturally, big Pete will get the armband and, hopefully, I have a few years left. You see big Pete and he has been here the longest. But you look at David and he has done incredibly well this year because he has stepped into midfield and been pulled back in certain games. It must be difficult for a player to be pulled left, right and centre but he is capable of doing it.
"The Fulham game just goes to show what ability he has. Not just the goal but five minutes after that, he stepped into midfield and put Fernando [Torres] through with his left foot with a 40-yard ball. He is still learning, still very young, but will be a very, very good player.
"He has the personality of a leader. He pushes the lads. He is like that in training, demanding a lot from himself and the other players around him. It's good for the squad. When they see myself, Frank [Lampard] and Petr Cech on a daily basis and players over the years like Didier [Drogba] training like that, they can only learn and repeat what we've done."
Terry, whose contract expires in the summer of next year, has slipped to fourth choice in the central defensive pecking order and, inevitably, the 32-year-old's future has come under the spotlight. He has had to accept Rafael Benítez's rotation policy but the defender's focus is on the season's frenetic finale, with Liverpool at Anfield next up in the Premier League on Sunday. Terry thinks victory against the interim manager's former club is essential, with the imperatives of finishing in the top four and securing at least a Champions League play-off having been long established.
"Liverpool have had a mixed season themselves but they always seem to up their game when we go there," Terry said. "Three points is a must again and so is Champions League qualification, for the club, the supporters and in terms of moving forward, with signings in the summer.
"I'm available [for selection] and I can definitely play twice a week, three games a week if need be but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me, there is not a problem because I'm Chelsea through and through and I want nothing more than to get Champions League football. I accept the rotation system completely.
"With Gary [Cahill] coming back [from injury], I don't know where that puts me in the pecking order. All I can do is train hard and, when I get a chance, play well. There are no complaints. If the manager is straight with me and tells me, that's totally fine."
Benítez's return to Anfield is a high-profile feature of the fixture but Brendan Rodgers will also be pitted against his former employers. The Liverpool manager is fondly remembered at Chelsea, where he worked as a coached at youth- and reserve-team levels.
"Brendan was brilliant for me and the other players," Terry said. "There were so many ways that he helped me. When José [Mourinho] was here, he was always around. A couple of times, I was left out of the side or was injured and he'd pull me to one side. He did a nice little video of me scoring goals and making tackles, and he had a 15- or 20-minute chat with me. It was something that nobody had ever done and it just goes to show his man-management. Little things like that really give players a boost when you're down.
"He was a real gentleman and I thought, 100%, that he'd become a manager. He fed off José and obviously learnt a lot from him but you could see that he had it in him to go on … his mannerisms around the players. He had a great rapport with the players at the training ground on a daily basis. He speaks a different language, too, [Spanish] which is an added bonus."