With the new Premier League season set to begin this weekend — tonight in fact, for Leicester City as they travel to Arsenal — teams that already had little reason to let go of players have become even less willing to do so. This certainly does not bode well for Chelsea, who are looking address holes in the squad’s depth by completing a few deals for Premier League-proven players before the end of the month.
One of these players is Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater, who partnered N'Golo Kanté during Leicester’s Premier League-title winning campaign back in the 2015-16 term. After getting Kanté last summer, Chelsea have now been increasingly linked with the other half of that duo, especially after sanctioning Nemanja Matic's departure to Manchester United last weekend.
However the Foxes are less than inclined to agree to any of Chelsea’s overtures as they do not want to become known as 'selling club', claims manager Craig Shakespeare.
"We don’t want to be a selling club, we want to add to it. We don’t want to sell our best players. The speculation is always going to be out there at this time of year. You know when you have good players there might be an interest in them. You have to deal with reality but also keep a calmness about you as well."
-Craig Shakespeare; Source: Daily Mail
Despite these warnings from Shakespeare, Chelsea should continue this pursuit as we remain in need of midfield depth. While Drinkwater may not be Matić’s perfect substitute in terms of ability, his playing style would be a good fit our system.
Chelsea has a lot of automated movements, pattern play with Antonio Conte. Restricted decision making. Drinkwater is the midfielder for that— Sébastien Chapuis (@SebC__) August 9, 2017
It also helps that he already has a good rapport with Kanté, and could deputise on the pitch until Tiemoué Bakayoko is ready to start his spell.