John Terry has been saddened by the departure of Frank Lampard this summer and believes the club has lost their greatest ever player.
The Blues skipper is preparing for the new campaign without his old pal Lampard for the first time in 13 years.
Lampard and Terry sat next to each other in the Stamford Bridge dressing room and the talismanic skipper admits it will be strange not lining up next to the former West Ham man.
“It feels different coming in and Lamps not being sat next to me,” Terry told Chelsea's official magazine.
“We have sat next to each other in the changing room since he signed for the club really. I’ve become really close to Lamps and Ash and they were my two best mates at the club.
“So I’m really sad to see arguably the best player the club has ever had, in Lamps, move on, for what he brought to the dressing room and as a mate.
“You understand that you all get older, but you just hope that point doesn’t come.”
“He’s a very good signing” Terry added.
“He is great on the ball, a great box-to-box player, he scores an awful lot of goals as well and he has got an aggressive streak in him too – I certainly remember that from his Arsenal days.”
Chelsea looked in good form as they coasted to victory at Adams Park on Wednesday night, with a mixture of youngsters and first-team stars turning out.
And Terry fancies his side to go all the way in the title race next season given the recruitment of Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
“'I think we should be very competitive,' Terry added. “We were close last year, but just unlucky at times. With the signings we have made and a couple of younger players who I think will surprise a few people this year.
“I think this should be a very good year. We want to win trophies – that is always the aim from the outset for me.
“I can see a lot more teams in the mix. First and foremost, though, we need to be solid, both home and away, because I think we dropped too many points against teams we shouldn’t have."