At times last season, it seemed that John Terry’s Chelsea career was petering towards an end.
He had survived the clean sweep Andre Villas-Boas was tasked with until he was sacked, but he was used sparingly by Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard did not dismiss Terry outright during his interim stay at Stamford Bridge. But the legendary defender had to make do with a squad role, as Benitez rotated his players all the way to third-place in the Premier League, and to the Europa League title.
This season however, 32-year-old Terry has been an ever-present in Jose Mourinho’s Premier League starting line-ups, as The Special One rekindles the special relationship he had with the Blues skipper during his first spell at the Bridge.
It was Terry to the rescue at the weekend, when he popped up with a goal to give Chelsea a share of the points in their London derby draw with Tottenham.
And so impressed has Mourinho been with Terry, that he has hinted that a new contract for the veteran defender could even be on the horizon.
"He is a very good player, and very good players have no problems with their contracts,” Mourinho said of JT.
"I think he always has a future the way he is playing -- he has a future in here, or wherever he wants to have a future.
"I have always told him from day one, don't speak [publicly] about signing a new contract, just speak about working very hard from a physical point of view so you don't have the same kind of problems you have had in the past two years, and then you play regularly."
"I think the fact that he knows that I like him has been important," Mourinho added, explaining his take on Terry’s revival.
"In his head, he knows that if I leave him out I am trying to do the best thing for him and the best thing for the team, so he is not under this pressure he was in other years," he explained.
"Physically, we are working very well with him. I think he is in good condition and he is a brilliant boy."