Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has explained why the Blues will find it so difficult to replace the departed John Terry, who has left the club after two decades of turning out at Stamford Bridge.

Di Matteo spent less than a season working with Terry as caretaker manager, and the pair won the FA Cup and Champions League together in 2012 before the Italian's dismissal in November of the same year.

Chelsea Training Session & Press Conference

And now, speaking to the Mirror, Di Matteo has explained why replacing their club captain will be so difficult for last season's Premier League winners.

"Terry has been there 20 years." Di Matteo started.

"He was a leader in the dressing room, he was the reference point for many players, especially many new players. He represented the true feelings of Chelsea.​"

Antonio Conte will be in the market for a Terry-like replacement, after the 36-year-old was phased out of the squad throughout the season. The defensive trio of David Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill ensured a quiet season for the English centre-half.

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Prominent rumours have claimed that Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci is Chelsea's number one target, but Di Matteo doesn't seem to be sure that Terry could ever be properly replaced.

"It's going to take a bit of time for somebody to step in and take that kind of role.

"I'm not sure if ever somebody will be able to do so, but certainly taking on the captaincy role and being that important for the team."