Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater on their official website in the early hours of Friday morning. It comes after weeks of negotiations and an official transfer request from the midfielder.
Who is he?
A 27-year-old England international, Drinkwater is one of the country’s most underrated central midfielders. Having come through the ranks at Manchester United, he spent much of his time as a youngster on loan at clubs like Huddersfield, Cardiff, Barnsley and Watford. He moved to Leicester in 2012, winning promotion from the Championship and then winning the Premier League in 2015.
What’s the deal?
The Telegraph believe that the final deal will cost Chelsea more than £35 million, including add-ons. The Blues’ third offer of £35 million was not quite enough for the Foxes, but fortunately a deal was reached before the 11pm deadline. The midfielder has penned a five year deal.
What’s his style of play?
Good on the ball, Drinkwater will once again team up with former team-mate N’Golo Kante. The duo worked well together at the King Power Stadium, with their discipline meaning that when one burst forward, the other would hold and protect the defence. That co-ordination could be important for Chelsea.
Drinkwater is also a tough tackler and, much like Nemanja Matic, isn’t afraid to put his foot in. He breaks up play well and disrupts opposition attack’s, not allowing anyone past his midfield wall.
What will his arrival mean for Chelsea?
Competition. The Blues’ midfield was looking very shallow with only Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas. The arrival of Drinkwater will add depth and get all four players at their very best knowing that all four are good enough to be in the starting line-up under Antonio Conte.
He will also bring with him homegrown status, which is crucial for squad registration purposes after the departures of the likes of John Terry, Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Nathaniel Chalobah and Dominic Solanke.
What’s the reaction?
Drinkwater was delighted with his move which will see him return to the Champions League as he told the club website:
“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 was also pleased to finally get the deal across the line, saying:
“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.”
Fans were also pleased with the signing of a homegrown talent.