By Noel Whelan

29th Jul, 2021 | 7:00am

Terry has handed Aston Villa a 'big blow' as exit details emerge - Whelan

Noel Whelan has claimed John Terry’s exit is “a big blow” to Aston Villa ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds and Middlesbrough striker fears losing the 40-year-old will have a detrimental impact to the club’s defensive stability.

On Monday, the Midlands club confirmed Terry would step down from his role as assistant manager to Dean Smith.

The ex-Chelsea captain left the position he held since October 2018 to pursue his ambitions of being a manager.

Whelan suggested Smith will already have an idea of who he wants to bring in to replace Terry.

“It’s a big blow to Villa because the benefits of John being there were for all to see,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

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“For quite some time they struggled defensively and then all of a sudden they got it spot on and I’m sure he was a big part of that. They were real hard to break down last season and that showed in the stats.

“When you have someone of John’s experience in your camp, someone who as a player played at the very highest level for the whole of his career, it is only natural you will miss someone like that.

“Not a great start to the season for Villa but you would hope Dean Smith has somebody in mind who can step in and play a similar role moving forward.”

In other news, Agbonlahor heaps praise on Aston Villa star who is set for new role in a tactical switch-up.