Danny Drinkwater is officially a Chelsea player after today completing a transfer from Leicester City and signing a five-year contract.
The 27-year-old midfielder becomes our sixth senior signing of the summer following the arrivals of Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Alvaro Morata and also tonight, Davide Zappacosta.
Drinkwater said: ‘I’m delighted to be a Chelsea player and can’t wait to get started. It has been a long journey to get here but I am very happy and am looking forward to helping the club win more trophies.’
Technical director Michael Emenalo added: ‘Danny is not only a Premier League winner but also has Champions League experience which will be invaluable for us this season. He is a typically combative English midfielder with a cultured passing technique and his arrival significantly strengthens our midfield options.’
A tenacious midfielder who can impact the game at either end of the pitch, Drinkwater is reunited with N'Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge. The pair forged a profitable partnership in Leicester's incredible title-winning campaign of 2015/16.
A product of Manchester United's academy, he enjoyed successful loan spells with Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford and Barnsley before joining then-Championship side Leicester in 2012.
Drinkwater was a key figure and named in the PFA Championship Team of the Season in 2013/14 as the Foxes returned to the top flight, and remained an important player as they retained that status with a stunning late run in 2014/15.
However, it was in the next campaign that he really made his name, under the guidance of former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri. He appeared 35 times in a league season nobody could have predicted, with one of two goals coming from long range against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw on the final day of the campaign. He also made his England debut that March, and has three caps to date.
It was Eden Hazard's famous equaliser for the Blues against Tottenham that confirmed Leicester's title success, and though disappointment was to follow after missing the cut for Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad, it had been a year to remember for Drinkwater.
Kante's departure that summer was always going to impact Leicester's defence of the title and the team struggled to maintain their form. Drinkwater remained an integral part of the side that eventually finished 12th in the table last season, making 29 league appearances as well as helping them to the Champions League quarter-finals, a competition in which he played 10 times. He also scored Leicester's Goal of the Season with a sweetly struck half-volley against Liverpool.