We’ve had more than our fair share of high profile misses in the transfer market over the years, even before the Abramovich Era, but in terms of return on investment, the £35m or so we spent in 2017 to sign Danny Drinkwater has proven to be one of the worst decisions ever — for all involved. (Well, except Leicester City maybe.)
The move hasn’t worked for either Chelsea or Drinkwater himself (or our head coach at the time), and while Chelsea have been able to move on by signing other players, Drinkwater’s career continues to teeter on the brink. He made 22 appearances as a backup under Antonio Conte that first season; he’s managed barely more than half that number in the three seasons combined since, along with a fair share of regrettable actions off the pitch.
After failed loans to Aston Villa and Burnley, the latest reclamation project has seen him join Turkish Super Lig side Kasimpasa on loan in January. And unlike the other two, this time things are working out somewhat okay — seven appearances thus far — for the 31-year-old, who might even be in danger of actually enjoying football again!
“I have to try and start enjoying my football again because in this moment it has disappeared. I keep working hard, I keep grafting and I am doing the right things at the right times and I need to stay injury free and see where it takes me. It is a short career so I need to keep doing the right things and hope things turn around.”
How much of a turnaround can Drinkwater engineer at this point is up for debate, but you don’t get this far in a professional career without having some level of determination alongside considerable levels of skill and ability. Drinkwater may only have a year left on his Chelsea contract, but that just might give him one more chance of making this move work.
“I want to continue with Chelsea. I feel like I have unfinished business with this club.
”I would like to think [that I could force my way into Tuchel’s squad]. I don’t know if it is a good idea to go back to Chelsea and start declaring these things. I have got a long way to go.”
Is that optimistic? Certainly.
Should it be stated publicly? Why not.
Do you ever know in football? Never.