Of all the Chelsea players young and old, Danny Drinkwater’s future is perhaps the least defined. The 30-year-old midfielder, who was brought in for a hefty £35m fee in 2017, still has two years left on his Chelsea contract, but appears to be unwanted not only at Stamford Bridge but elsewhere as well.
Neither of his two loans last season, to Burnley and Aston Villa, could be called successful, far from it in fact, and were dominated by incidents off the pitch rather than on it.
Drinkwater has recently given a (rare) interview to the Telegraph in which he opens up about and owns up to these poor career and life decisions, and vows to do better, but as far as his career’s concerned, there’s been little indication of what he might do next. He’s been training at Cobham, but clearly his future lies elsewhere, some way, some how.
“Look, I know my Chelsea move hasn’t worked out how anybody would have wanted and I’ve made mistakes, but it’s not as simple as me just not playing football or picking up a wage. Money doesn’t solve anything. The pay cheque doesn’t really help at all, you don’t even think about money.
“There have been things that come above football that have not been as simple as I’d like. I’m not looking for sympathy, f--- me I don’t want that, but I suppose I’d just like people to understand it’s not all gravy when you earn so much money and that I do care.”
Danny Drinkwater has not told his side of the story for the past four years. But now he has. Exclusive interview on:— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) September 10, 2020
- Why his Chelsea move hasn't worked.
- Drink driving, nightclub assault and headbutting a team-mate
- His motivation to turn things aroundhttps://t.co/3uA7tnxjgX
For a solution, he may need to start thinking outside the box, or at least outside of England, such as perhaps going to Italy to link up with his former Leicester City boss, Claudio Ranieri, who of course spent several years as Chelsea manager in the early 2000s as well. And apparently that is indeed something that’s being explored, with a local source (via Football Italia) claiming that Drinkwater has been offered to Sampdoria. Ranieri took over at Sampdoria last year and guided them to a midtable finish in Serie A.
The report doesn’t offer any clue as to how Sampdoria may have responded, though it does hint that it was a “transfer” rather than a loan offer, which seems a bit optimistic.
With new seasons starting all across European football and the transfer window closing in three weeks, Drinkwater’s going to have to step up efforts to find himself a new team and get back to playing football, which is his most immediate goal.
“I told myself that I needed to clean myself up big time. I must have taken a good look at myself s--- loads of times. I had a wake up call after the drink driving, another wake up call after the nightclub and then another wake up call after the incident at Villa. Then it’s like, this has got to stop.”
“I’ve got loads more to give. I’m open to going abroad, even though it will be difficult with my son. But I would hope to still see him and, hopefully, he would understand that for a year I needed to get my career sorted out again. I need an anchor and I need to sort out one side of my life, so if I can sort my football out, even if it is abroad, then that will help in the long term. I need something to grasp.
“It probably all comes down to patience and trust with me. I need to change for it to work, otherwise I’ll be stuck in this vicious circle. If I can trust people who are good at their job and be patient then I can only see me building my career back up now. I can’t see me staying in this situation. No chance.”
-Danny Drinkwater; source: Telegraph
Here’s to building yourself back up, Tenacious Double D.