Four statistics that suggest Leicester's Danny Drinkwater would be an astute buy for Chelsea
It is fair to say that the transfer window has well and truly kicked into action with under 48 hours remaining, and as of Wednesday morning Danny Drinkwater’s future is well and truly in the balance.
With speculation of a move to Chelsea gaining stature, Sky Sports have now reported that the 27-year-old has handed in a transfer request at Leicester City as he looks to try and force a move away.
It is understood that the England midfielder wants the move to Stamford Bridge but boss Craig Shakespeare is standing firm on his £30 million valuation, already rejecting two formal offers made.
Should a move be sanctioned before the impending deadline tomorrow night, a lot has been said about whether Drinkwater is needed with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and new-boy Tiemoue Bakayoko already in the Chelsea ranks, but The Boot Room looks at why he’d be a great addition.
6 – Drinkwater’s distributions stands out
The big difference between Drinkwater and the likes of Kante and Bakayoko is that, unlike the French duo who are players that are comfortable driving with the ball, the Leicester man is about distribution.
Since the beginning of the 2015-16 Premier League season he has recorded six assists from outside the opposition third, somewhat ironically only second to possible new Chelsea team-mate Fabregas.
The reason he’s been so much of an outlet at the King Power is his constant vision to look out for Jamie Vardy’s runs in-behind the defence, threading a ball through the gaps in a back-line, and with the likes of Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge this style of play would prove equally fruitful.
76 – Ability to be adventurous
One of the more surprising statistics to surface from last season is that Drinkwater – despite how he comes across as a defensive-minded player – has an extremely high success rate of taking players on.
Across his 29 Premier League appearances last campaign he completed 76% of his attempted take-ons, just proving that when he does decide to burst forward from deep he’s incredibly hard to stop.
With the potential to re-ignite his title-winning chemistry and partnership with Kante, he’d be given even more licence to roam forward into the final third with the Frenchman remaining deeper.
190 – Defensive steel
Despite his tendencies to join in with the attack and influence further up the field, Drinkwater has primarily made a name for himself at Leicester with his no-nonsense approach in the challenge.
The 27-year-old has made more successful tackles (190) since August 2015 than any other homegrown player, and more than both Bakayoko (124) and Fabregas (133) in the same timeframe.
It just goes to show how much of an all-rounder he is and it raises the question of if he can perform like this at Leicester City, how much better could he be playing with the calibre of players at Chelsea.
40 – Anticipate the play
He is equally strong at reading the situation of the match – something which no doubt has appealed to Chelsea boss Conte – making 40 interceptions at an average of just under two a game last season.
This all boils down to his natural sense of positioning on a football field, able to anticipate where the opposition are going to play their next pass and try and cut it out before it develops into a full attack.
It has been clear to see how much Kante’s ability to regain possession helped Chelsea drive towards the title last season, and with Drinkwater coming into the side there’s no reason they can’t go again.
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