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We don't know yet if John Terry will call it a day when he leaves Chelsea at the end of the season or if he'll even walk away from the Premier League. However we do know that he's in the conversation for the Premier League's greatest ever centre back but is he the best?

On Monday, just 24 hours after Chelsea's loss to Manchester United had blown the title race between Chelsea and Spurs wide open, the Blues announced that Terry would be leaving at the end of the season with no new contract on the table.

The announcement was different to a year earlier when it seemed like Terry would be leaving Chelsea only for Antonio Conte to decide to hand the captain a year's stay of execution. Terry's part in the statement and a lack of change of manager this summer means the 36 year old is definitely off.

Terry

Terry is the best scoring defender in Premier League history. Image: PA Images

So this year we know Terry will leave Chelsea and short of a major fail that means he will leave having won five Premier League titles with the Blues. He'll also have captured the Champions League and Europa League, three League Cups and possibly six FA Cups if the team do the double.

As far as titles is concerned that would put him behind only the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in trophies won, although neither of them won the Europa League or FA Cup at Old Trafford.

Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard paid tribute to their former captain after the news about his upcoming departure came through. Perhaps inevitably they both referred to him as the greatest defender in the Premier League.

Certainly Terry is up there and there can be no doubt that his former colleagues have some bias towards him but is there a definitive answer. If Terry was to be ruled out then who is the best? Or is it Terry?

Drogba came up against some of the Premier League's best but rates Terry highest. Image: PA Images

To start with we have to discount Ledley King and Jaap Stam, both players were extremely talented and some might claim either man was the best but one spent too long injured and the other just didn't play in England long enough.

Sure King's lack of legs make his achievements all the more incredible but with just one League Cup winners medal and a slew of injuries it's just too much of a stretch to include him.

Jamie Carragher's 508 appearances for Liverpool, yielding two FA Cups, three League Cups and Champions League and UEFA Cup glory, certainly put him in the debate but a lack of a Premier League win may count against him.

Jamie Carragher

From Premier League defender to Sky pundit but is Carra number one? Image: PA Images

Carragher's partner at Liverpool, Sami Hyypia, is also worth a mention. The Finn spent a decade at Anfield winning the same trophies as 'Carra', minus one League Cup, and was an absolute rock at the back for the Reds.

Arsenal pair Tony Adams and Sol Campbell could lay claim to the title, much to the annoyance of Spurs fans perhaps, both men were integral members of title victories for the Gunners with Campbell part of the incredible Invincibles.

Campbell's central defensive partner in that legendary season was Kolo Toure, a man who doesn't get the credit he deserves. A title winner at Arsenal and Manchester City the Ivorian came close to being the first man to win the Premier League with three different clubs at Liverpool.

The greatest ever Premier League partnership? Image: PA Images

As mentioned earlier Ferdinand and Vidic are the most successful pairing in Premier League history. The pair perfectly complimented each other with Vidic's no nonsense style and Ferdinand's ability to play the ball out just seeming a natural pairing.

Between them they won 11 Premier League titles with Ferdinand winning six to Vidic's five. Certainly neither man ever had to worry about playing with a weak partner.

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany has been afflicted by similar injuries to Ledley King however he helped transform Manchester City into a title winning side, captaining the team to two title wins, and he has to be in the conversation for that alone.

We asked our Twitter followers if they thought Terry was the Premier League's greatest ever defender and it was mightily close:

Of course the truth is there's really no right or wrong answer, sorry guys.

For what it's worth it would certainly be difficult to argue against Terry, Ferdinand or Vidic for their Premier League titles alone whilst Campbell and Toure helped a team go undefeated and Kompany helped completely turn a team around.

One thing is for certain is that Chelsea are losing one hell of a legend for the club and with Lampard, Drogba, Petr Cech and Jose Mourinho already gone it certainly is the very end of an era.

Who do you think is the best centre back in the Premier League era?

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