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Former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman has exclusively told skysports.com that keeping hold of John Terry was crucially important for the club as the captain is the single most important player at Stamford Bridge.
After weeks of speculation regarding his future, Terry turned his back on strong interest from Manchester City to commit himself to Chelsea on 26th July, claiming in the process that he had never considered leaving the club that handed him his debut in 1998.
Kezman played with Terry in the 2004-2005 season when winning the Premier League with the Blues and the Serbia striker, who represented Paris Saint Germain at the Emirates Cup at the weekend, has claimed that the England captain is the crucial cog in Carlo Ancelotti's dressing room.
As such, his decision to remain in West London is paramount to Chelsea's chances ahead of the new season, according to Kezman.
"I was in no doubt that he would stay because I know how much he loves the club and I know his spirit about the club," Kezman told skysports.com. "I was sure that he would stay all the time.
"It was very important because he is the most important player there, even with the stars like [Frank] Lampard and [Didier] Drogba he is the number one because he is somebody who keeps all the players together.
"He is the gaffer in the dressing room, the big boss you know, and also a very good person so he is an important guy. His character gives a lot to Chelsea all the time."
Terry's decision to spurn City was a major fillip for new manager Ancelotti as he prepares for his first season in the Premier League following a lengthy spell with Italian giants AC Milan.
Ancelotti twice won the UEFA Champions League during his eight-year spell in the Italian fashion capital but Kezman expects that the adaptation to English football will be a real challenge for the new man as he immerses himself in a new culture.
"It will be different because the coach is coming from a completely different world," Kezman added. "Italy is something different to England: to be a coach in Italy is very different to being a manager, a gaffer, in England.
"I am sure that he is intelligent as well and he brought some people with him as well as keeping some people in the club from England as well to assist him. It will be very interesting to see how he fits in English football."
Kezman himself spent only one season in England and although he won both the Carling Cup and the Premier League, the Serbia international never recaptured the form that saw him score a remarkable 105 goals in 123 league games for PSV Eindhoven.
Spells with Atletico Madrid, Fenerbahce and now PSG have followed the end of his Chelsea career but the 30-year-old still reminisces fondly when asked to reflect on his time in West London.
"Of course I follow them because I still have friends there and I talk with some of the players still," Kezman continued.
"I am very proud and happy that I was part of that team and I was part of a Mourinho team as well. I won the Championship, I won the League Cup, I played in the semi-finals of the Champions League so it was perfect.
"I played a lot of games as well. I didn't score maybe as many goals as I would expect but I played a lot of games and was an important part of the team so I was very happy and proud. I am really happy when I look back on my time in England."Chelsea Specials. Click here to bet.
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