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Why Danny Drinkwater needs to leave Chelsea in the summer

The midfielder’s time at Stamford Bridge has been largely forgettable.

Martyn Cooke

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Drinkwater
Photo: Getty Images

When Danny Drinkwater made his England debut on March 29th 2016 he was widely considered to be one of the most influential central midfielders in the country.

He had been a key figure in Leicester City’s remarkable rise to prominence under Claudio Ranieri which would ultimately culminate with the Foxes securing the Premier League title when the campaign concluded in May.

His international call-up was a well-deserved and justified recognition for his outstanding contribution throughout the previous six months.

However, fast forward to the present day and Drinkwater has become the forgotten man of English football.

The 28-year-old  secured a £35 million move to Stamford Bridge in the summer as he aimed to fulfil his ambition of challenging for titles and playing in the Champions League on a consistent basis.

Drinkwater was following in the footsteps of his former central midfield partner N’Golo Kante, who had joined Chelsea the previous summer and had thrived as a key component of Antonio Conte’stitle-winningg side, but the England international has failed to make any impact in West London.

Drinkwater has made only five Premier League starts and has been little more than a bit-part figure at Stamford Bridge in a season in which the club has failed to meet expectations.

His last appearance came over five weeks ago against Manchester City and he has had to be content with a place on the periphery of the team.

Things did not get off to a great start when the 28-year-old suffered a calf injury upon his arrival in the summer which meant that he was side-lined until late October.

He quickly fell down the pecking order with Conte preferring to utilise Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas, while his cause was not aided by a number of niggling injuries.

The result is that Drinkwater has experienced a frustrating season in which he has made minimal impact.

Furthermore, he has completely fallen out of contention for England and faces the prospect of watching the World Cup on the TV rather than participating himself.

This was certainly not what the 28-year-old would have envisaged when he agreed to join Chelsea.

He was joining the champions of England and was expected to re-establish his partnership with Kante as the Blues looked to build on the success of the previous campaign.

However, this season Drinkwater will win no medals or trophies and will be left wondering whether he made the right decision to move to West London.

What the future holds for the central midfielder is unclear.

Conte is expected to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and Drinkwater’s future will be determined by whoever Roman Abramovich selects as the Italian’s successor.

However, a change of manager is no guarantee of an increase in game time and Chelsea are expected to make significant investment in the playing squad over the summer.

It may be that, regardless of who the next manager will be, the 28-year-old needs to make a fresh start elsewhere.

He will certainly not be short of suitors and there is likely to be a considerable list of club’s that would be interested in securing his services.

However, Drinkwater must ensure that he makes a move in the summer that will provide him with regular game time so that he can begin to rebuild his reputation.

Failure to do so will leave the 28-year-old as English football’s forgotten man.

Martyn is currently a PTA and Research Assistant in the Department of Exercise Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). In addition to his teaching role he is also undertaking a PhD in Sports History that is exploring the origins and development of football in Staffordshire. Prior to working at MMU, Martyn spent a decade operating in the sport and leisure industry in a variety of roles including as a Sports Development Officers, PE Teacher, Football Coach and Operation Manager.

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Newcastle United can do better than Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham this summer

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Photo: Getty Images.

Rafa Benitez will have been disappointed to have seen his January signing of Islam Slimani end in complete and utter failure with the Leicester City loanee spending more time in the stands than on the pitch and now he is focused on bringing in an improvement to St. James’ Park for 2018/19, but Tammy Abraham is not the answer.

TEAMTalk say that the Spaniard may return to the striker, who was strongly linked with a move to the north-east last summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

On that occasion, the report indicated that a deal could not be agreed to satisfy Chelsea, but having struck a deal for Kenedy since then the relationship between the two parties may be better and make a move for Abraham smoother.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Then, Abraham was hot property having set the Championship alight with Bristol City, but his loan spell at Swansea has been less convincing. Having scored just five goals and registered three assists in 39 appearances for the Swans, Abraham has made only two Premier League starts in 2018 as doubts continue to emerge about his ability at this level.

What is clear is that he is not ready to walk into Newcastle and be the solution that Benitez needs. In part, that is because Abraham would not be an alternative to the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, impressing in the second tier himself now, or Slimani, given that whilst he is tall and physical, his game is about much more than simply being a target man.

The Newcastle boss is clearly looking for a way to add goals to his team, but Abraham, whilst promising, may not be ready for such pressure after a frustrating season in difficult circumstances in south Wales and would be a cheap gamble if Newcastle were to opt for him as their main addition up-front.

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Isaac Christie-Davies joining Liverpool highlights Anfield as the ideal platform for youngsters

Josh Kerr

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Isaac Christie-Davies
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Liverpool are set to sign Chelsea midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies on a free transfer, according to reports from ESPN.

The 20-year-old talent was not offered a new contract by Chelsea and the Reds swooped in earlier this year to offer him a trial ahead of other interested clubs.

If the move goes through, Christie-Davies will become the second young player, after Dominic Solanke, to join the Reds from Chelsea in just two years.

Davies joined Chelsea’s academy from Brighton and progressed from the youth ranks to the under-23s, winning the FA Youth Cup in 2015 and 2016 as well as the UEFA Youth League in 2016.

The teenager impressed during his trial period at Liverpool with the Merseyside outfit set to offer him a contract.

The youngster will look to his former Chelsea teammate and World Cup Golden Ball winner Solanke for inspiration, who finally showcased his talents in his previous outing at Anfield.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old striker finally notched his first senior goal for the Reds against Brighton on the final day of the Premier League, when the England international rifled a shot just under the bar to break his Reds duck.

The move for Christie-Davies represents yet another promising player trading London for Merseyside, and it could be Liverpool taking advantage of further academy talents.

Christie-Davies is likely to head straight into the Liverpool Under 23 squad as he follows the path of former teammate Solanke to Anfield.

Despite the youngster being unlikely to influence the first team next season it still could prove to be a nice bit of business from the club.

Although it was Chelsea’s decision to let the former Brighton youngster leave Stamford Bridge, Davies will look to the likes of former Blues, Solanke and Rhian Brewster as inspiration that it is still possible to reach the top.

Liverpool’s under 23’s finished 2nd in Premier League 2 this season, and standout players such as Harry Wilson even endured successful loan moves in the Championship, which could be the motivation Davies needs to make the grade at Anfield.

Also, the fact Liverpool quickly gambled on the midfielder reflects the qualities that are evidently present with Christie-Davies. If the youngster makes the most of his new move he could be another former Blue to thrive from a London exit.

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Mauricio Pochettino would be mad to leave Tottenham for Chelsea

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There could be one of the most sensational managerial switches of the Premier League era if Sky Sports are to be believed as they claim that Chelsea are pondering over making a move for Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to replace Antonio Conte after a disastrous attempt at a Premier League title defence.

The Italian’s days are clearly numbered and his departure after the FA Cup final this weekend looks inevitable, but Mauricio Pochettino would be making a serious mistake if he were to take the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge.

After four years in the dugout, at both White Hart Lane and Wembley Stadium, Pochettino has got his team playing his way. The Argentine has always worked under limited resources, at Espanyol, Southampton and even now at Spurs, and whilst the offer of money to spend at Chelsea may be exciting it would also mean an increased responsibility and a very different challenge.

(during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England.

Tottenham fans and board have complete faith in their coach and are prepared to invest in him to take their club to the next level, something which will come soon with the building of their new stadium, and feel that he is the right man to lead the club in the long-term.

A move to a club with such a short term view in the form of Chelsea would be to sacrifice all that Pochettino has achieved in his spell in north London to date, bringing through young talents like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier who are now beginning to reach their peak and shine under the coach.

With stability at a club on the up, Pochettino would be foolish to be distracted by the bright lights and glamour of a dysfunctional club like Chelsea.

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