Danny Drinkwater


Danny Drinkwater became a Chelsea player on transfer deadline day, August 2017, completing a move from Leicester City and signing a five-year contract.

The 27-year-old midfielder was our sixth senior signing of that summer following the arrivals of Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta.

A tenacious midfielder who can make an impact on a game at either end of the pitch, Drinkwater was 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, Drinkwater enjoyed successful loan spells with Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford and Barnsley before joining then-Championship side Leicester in 2012.

He 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 his 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 in a match against the Netherlands. 

Adalah gol penyeimbang yang dicetak Eden Hazard bagi the Blues saat melawan Tottenham yang memastikan kesuksesan Leicester dalam meraih gelar juara, meski kemudian ia harus kecewa lantaran tidak dipilih oleh Roy Hodgson untuk tampil di Euro 2016. Meski demikian, tahun itu merupakan tahun yang berkesan bagi Drinkwater. 

Kepergian Kante pada musim panas itu berdampak pada perjalanan Leicester untuk menjaga permainan mereka dalam perjalanan mempertahankan gelar juara. Drinkwater terus menjadi bagian integral dari tim yang akhirnya finis di peringkat 12 musim lalu. Ia tampil sebanyak 29 kali di liga dan 10 kali di Liga Champions saat membantu mereka maju hingga babak perempat final. Ia juga mencetak Goal of the Season Leicester lewat sebuah tendangan setengah voli ketika melawan Liverpool. 

Cedera betis menunda debut Drinkwater untuk Chelsea, yang akhirnya terwujud ketika ia menjadi starter saat mengalahkan Everton di ajang Carabao Cup pada akhir Oktober.

A run of substitute appearances followed although he did start in a draw at Anfield and a good win over Everton, and in our final game of 2017, he scored with a memorable long-range strike in a 5-0 win against Stoke, his maiden Chelsea goal.

The second half of his season was also affected by injury. He came on as a sub in the home game against Barcelona and then completed back-to-back away matches in Manchester, but they were to prove his final appearances of 2017/18.