Chelsea have officially signed Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City, reuniting the England international with his title-winning midfield cohort from a couple years ago, N’Golo Kanté. Drinkwater becomes Chelsea’s second major transfer deadline day signing and fifth overall this summer. It took a while, with Chelsea taking full advantage of the administrative extension past the 11pm deadline, but at 1:33am on September 1st, it was all official.
The deal looked unlikely initially, with the clubs far apart in terms of a potential transfer fee. Leicester City reportedly wanted £40 million but Chelsea offered only £15 million. The clubs eventually agreed on a fee of around £35 million.
Manchester-born Drinkwater began his career with Manchester United, turning professional in 2008 after joining their academy at the age of nine. Similarly to many such prospects at Chelsea, Drinkwater didn’t make a dent at United and spent three years going on a series of lower league loans. In January 2012 he officially moved to Leicester, then in the Championship, and has been integral part of the Foxes ever since, including in their 2015-16 Premier League-winning campaign.
Drinkwater will be a welcome arrival in the Chelsea midfield corps, adding some much-needed depth behind N’Golo Kante, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Cesc Fàbregas. With the increased frequency of games on Chelsea’s schedule this season, there will be plenty of opportunities for all four to impress and make an impact.
Welcome to the Bridge, Danny! Let’s win some things.