With Chelsea legend John Terry announcing that he will leave the London club at the end of the season, speculation has been growing that The Hawthorns could be a viable next destination, for one of the Premier League’s best ever centre-backs.
But here’s why I would pass on the opportunity to sign Terry, and instead look to other options.
If we were to lure Terry to the club, he would demand wages that the club has probably never ever considered, never mind actually paying. You’re likely to be talking at above the £100,000 per week mark, which would dwarf our highest earner. That’s without even considering the signing on fee.
This could cause divisions in the dressing room, players demanding more money and obviously financial problems, especially if it impacted on new signings. I would prefer to use those wages in other areas.
Although Dawson has played most of his football at right-back, his natural position is in the centre of defence. With Gareth McAuley approaching the end of his career, it would be a great opportunity to get a proper full-back in, and allow Dawson to revert to his natural position, he deserves a chance in that position.
As mentioned previously, with Dawson hopefully moving centrally, that leaves just one senior natural full-back in the squad. I would prefer to use the available funds we have to invest in those areas, as we’ve been using makeshift full-backs for almost two years now, with Dawson and Evans having spells in wide areas.
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I know Gareth McAuley is quite a bit older than John Terry, but McAuley has been playing regularly and has been consistent in his performances, whereas Terry has hardly featured for Chelsea. There must be a reason that Conte hasn’t even considered him for selection for most of this season, and I’m not sure the wages that he would demand would add up on the pitch.
Put yourself in Tony Pulis’ shoes – you bring Terry into the club, on massive wages and signing on fee, who do you drop? Jonny Evans or Gareth McAuley? Both have been excellent this season and neither deserves to be dropped from the team. There could be an argument for slowly fazing out McAuley and allowing someone else to come in, but we have Craig Dawson tailor made for that role, I doubt it would be worth the investment.