Former Chelsea midfielder Deco has told the London Evening Standard that John Terry should return to the side as he is "a true captain" and "one of the best I have ever played with."
Terry, 35, suffered an ankle injury in Sept. 11's 2-2 draw with Swansea but was an unused substitute in last weekend's 3-0 win over Leicester, with boss Antonio Conte keeping faith with Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz in his new 3-4-3 formation.
Former Porto, Barcelona and Portugal star Deco, though, suggested ahead of Chelsea's game at home to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United on Sunday that he would like to see Terry back in the starting lineup.
"If he is playing well, he needs to stay and play because he is a legend, a true captain," Deco said. "He is one of the best I have ever played with.
"He is a fantastic guy who is very important to the team and the club. He is a leader and when you have a player like him, you need to keep him for as long as you can, for as long as he can play.
"Players like this have the qualities to set an example for their teammates. They train well every time, they work hard and they want to win all games -- even in training sessions. This is why they become captains, because these are the qualities you need to have."
The Times has reported, however, that Terry has suffered a fresh injury to his ankle and is unlikely to be available for the United game.