After slumping to a 13th place finish in the Championship during the 2016/17 season, Aston Villa made a huge statement of intent at the beginning of the 2017 summer transfer window by signing John Terry on a free transfer on July 3rd after he called time on his career with Chelsea.
The 78-time capped England international arrived with a reputation for being one of the best no-nonsense, determined and passionate centre-backs of the Premier League era, so it was no surprise that the Villa supporters were absolutely delighted by a signing which would ultimately transform their fortunes in the second-tier of English football.
And plenty of Chelsea supporters were also eager to wish Terry luck and tip Villa for a successful season with their hero marshalling the back-four.
@Dr_TonyXia superb signing for us. Welcome big man
— James Walsh (@JamesWalsh72) July 3, 2017
Massive signing still got it
— Jamie Tarbard (@JTarb8) July 3, 2017
— Jim Isham (@jimisham86) July 3, 2017
I just had the sky sports notification, looks like promotion is happening for you
— Daz cfc (@Chelseafan1984) July 3, 2017
Welcome john terry
— john durrant (@john_Durrant98) July 3, 2017
Top player still, will do a job in the Championship! Now sign a keeper and a couple of strikers!
— Leighton Hudson (@hdsn79) July 3, 2017
Although there were a handful of sceptics who believed Terry was past the level required to thrive in the Championship, he went on to enjoy a tremendous season at the heart of Villa’s back-four.
Alongside James Chester, Terry formed a formidable defensive partnership which represented the backbone of Villa’s promotion push.
Terry’s rich experience in the game provided the club with a valuable asset in defence where he was consistent with his performances and a leadership figure for the younger players to look up to.
His impact enabled Villa to reach the playoff final where they were ultimately beaten 1-0 by Fulham at Wembley, ending a fairytale story for the 37-year-old in his first season away from Chelsea since 2000.
The supporters who welcomed Terry with open arms and praised Tony Xia’s decision were certainly prophetic in their assessment – perhaps the only disappointment for the fans is that he only remained at Villa Park for a single season.
Aston Villa fans – thoughts on Terry’s impact last season? Let us know below!