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What’s next for Danny Drinkwater and Tomáš Kalas?

In the shadows of major transfer window drama, lives are also being changed

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Chelsea v Norwich City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Famous players who command large transfer fees get all the the headlines. But when they’re bought and sold, the hopes and plans of lesser lights can be drastically affected. That may be what’s in the process of happening to two Chelsea players.

One is Danny Drinkwater. Injured and mostly relegated to a bench role last season, DD has reportedly made it known that he’d welcome a move to a club where he’d get more playing time. Once Jorginho completes his move from Napoli to Chelsea, Drinkwater would drop even further back in the midfield pecking order at Stamford Bridge, adding to his sense of urgency.

But the one club said to be strongly interested in him, West Ham United, may have just closed the door by signing former Arsenal midfielder and frequent medical department visitor Jack Wilshere. It seems unlikely that they’d now be willing to come up with anything close to the £35 million that Chelsea would want to recoup after signing Drinwater just last season. And while Matt Law claims that there’s more interest out there for him, will any of them be able or willing to buy him? Outside of a loan, Drinkwater may be in for another frustrating season.

A cloud may also be passing over the future of another Chelsea player, recently spotted at first-team training Tomáš Kalas, thanks to this week’s transfers. In two seasons on loan to Fulham, the defender had become a lock in the starting lineup. He likes the club, and they apparently like him.

At the end of last season, he went public with his wish to find a permanent home. At 25 years old and having been loaned to five different clubs since 2010, he said he’d be happy to finally stick somewhere, if not Chelsea, then Fulham.

Chelsea always looked unlikely. Problem is, Fulham might too, now. For one thing, after missing four games with a hip injury in March, Kalas abruptly lost his place to Denis Odoi, whom Fulham already have under contract through this season. And upon his return, time on the pitch was limited.

In the last eight games of their playoff drive, Fulham handed their former guaranteed starter just 9 minutes of league play. In three playoff games, he saw just 27 minutes of action. Questions about Fulham’s willingness to spend to keep him began to make the rounds.

Then yesterday Fulham bought two players from Ligue 1 outfit: midfielder Jean Michäel Seri, who was on everyone’s radar; and full-back Maxime Le Marchand, who was not. The combined amount paid to acquire both players is reportedly around £30 million.

So now the question is, how much does Tony Khan have left over in his transfer kitty? Most importantly, do they have the funds and the willingness to spend it on a defender who became surplus to requirements at the most important time of Fulham’s season?

Thus, a cloud is passing over Kalas’ future. A sixth loan might be his only option, despite his wish to finally call one club home.

And so, in the shadows of transfer season, away from the spotlight and mostly unnoticed by the media and supporters, lives and careers are quietly being changed.

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