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Done Deal: Chelsea confirm the signing of Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City

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Drinkwater

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.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Chelsea

Crystal Palace’s hopes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek return boosted after latest comments

The midfielder is unlikely to get what he’s after at his parent club.

Jamie Watts

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has boosted Crystal Palace‘s hopes of securing his services for another season, after claiming he will only remain with Chelsea this summer if guaranteed a regular first-team spot at Stamford Bridge next season, in quotes via Sky Sports.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park after making just 31 appearances for Chelsea since his debut in 2014, and his immense talents have earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad this World Cup.

Photo: Getty Images

“I want to play as much as I can,” revealed Loftus-Cheek. “Even this past season just gone, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.”

Loftus-Cheek made 25 appearances for Roy Hodgson’s outfit last term, and is still unhappy with the amount of minutes he managed, so it’s pretty safe to assume Chelsea – given the disastrous domestic season they’ve just had – won’t be bettering his previous return, or be prioritising taking chances on academy products next season.

And Palace will be keen to offer the stylish midfielder a deal to extend his stay with the former England manager, where, if available, he will continue to be considered one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Photo: Getty Images

Palace are likely to face competition from rival clubs though, as Loftus-Cheek is emerging as a star on the biggest stage of all in Russia; having flourished in his brief cameo against Tunisia. And he’s now considered likely to start against Panama, with Dele Alli nursing a slight injury.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa could reportedly owe John Terry £560,000 in wages

The owner may have to sell shares in the club.

Jamie Watts

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Aston Villa’s financial mess looks likely to continue, as the cash-strapped club could now owe captain John Terry a whopping £560,000 in wages, unless he transfers to a different club this summer, according to reports from the Times.

Villa are said to have reached an agreement with HMRC to postpone a payment of £4 million last week, but a further payment is expected this week and the club owner Tony Xia may have to go as far as to sell shares in the club to ensure all debts are paid.

The ex-Chelsea legend announced his impending departure from the midlands club last month, after they failed to secure Premier League promotion in the play-offs and his current contract is due to expire at the end of the month. But he is said to be entitled to a further month’s pay.

Photo: Getty Images

His weekly-wage packet was said to be worth £70,000 at Villa Park, meaning the overdue payments from the last two-months add up to over half-a-million for the 37-year-old defender. However, the outstanding July payment will only stand if Terry retires or remains a free-agent, meaning Villa will be keen to land him a new club.

Villa reportedly need £40 million in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations (Birmingham Mail), after gambling that they would gain promotion to the Premier League this season.

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Chelsea

England must start Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Panama reveal tactics

England must opt for creativity after the Panama captain’s comments

Jamie Watts

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Panama have revealed plans stifle England with a physical approach in their upcoming clash on Sunday, in quotes from captain Roman Torres on the Telegraph, and Gareth Southgate should ensure the Three Lions’ approach is suited to the style of opponent.

The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by a star-studded Belgium outfit on Monday in their World Cup debut, meaning a win against England is pivotal in ensuring they remain in the competition beyond the group stages. And England will have a tough task taking the lion’s share of points on the day.

“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space,” revealed Torres told the Telegraph.

Photo: Getty Images

And as a result England must employ the right tactics. Creativity and bravery will be key, as they will undoubtedly have the majority of possession, and Southgate will want to make it count. Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added instant impetus to a languid outfit, after coming on late against Tunisia.

The team’s performance became full of purpose and directness in the last 20 minutes, with both taking the responsibility of carrying the ball forward and creating, and from that arrived the corner and subsequent winner from Harry Kane.

Photo: Getty Images

The end product from the likes of Rashford was missing in the opening stages of the game also, as team-mate Jesse Lingard squandered a number of key opportunities to put the game to bed early, and Southgate will not want a repeat this time around.

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