Last night, Claudio Ranieri witnessed one of his former players play a key role in staking one of his former clubs to victory over his current one, but unlike back in their Leicester City days, N’Golo Kanté was not partnered with Danny Drinkwater. Instead, he had to look after Jorginho while also being expected to contribute to the attack.
Kanté’s still learning this role, but all his learning is being done “on the job”, as one of the first names on the team sheet. Meanwhile, any learning that Drinkwater may be doing is restricted purely to the training ground. His name is perhaps the last of all and nowhere near the team sheet these days.
A January exit is expected for Danny, but his long-term Chelsea contract (signed through 2022) and significant wages are proving a hurdle. A loan move is perhaps the most likely and most reasonable outcome, and a destination just a few miles down the road would probably makes sense for all involved.
It didn’t take long for rumors to that effect pop up after Ranieri was confirmed as Fulham boss, and after their 2-0 loss at the Bridge on Sunday night, he was directly asked about it.
In classic Ranieri style, he issued his coy response — “if I’m interested, I don’t tell you” —while giving the assembled media a hearty chuckle as well.
— Hayters TV (@HaytersTV) December 2, 2018
️ "But if I am interested, I don't tell you. That is normal."@FulhamFC boss Claudio Ranieri is keeping tight-lipped about a move for former @LCFC midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
Full press conference post @ChelseaFC
Having just arrived, Ranieri obviously will need time to evaluate his current players, as he says. Fulham don’t necessarily have a bad team just a very badly performing one (case in point: Jean Michël Seri yesterday), so Drinkwater may yet be surplus to their requirements as well. But if Claudio does decide he needs a Premier League champion in his squad, we could do worse than to oblige him with a loan.