Danny Drinkwater: Why the Englishman is a decent replacement for Matic

Born Daniel Noel Drinkwater on the 5th of March 1990 and known to all of us as simply Danny Drinkwater, this midfield anchorman and workhorse, is an English professional footballer who was recently signed by Chelsea football club.  

He previously spent time on loan at Huddersfield, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley. Drinkwater also turned out for Manchester United reserves before making a name for himself at Leicester City.

Drinkwater has also played internationally for England at under 18s, under 19s and the senior national team.

Having won the Premier League competition with Leicester in that fairy tale 2015–16 season makes him a winner and therefore a good signing for Chelsea who will need his experience as the team competes in four fronts this season but mainly in the Champions League and in trying to retain the Premier league crown.


United beginnings

Born in Manchester, Drinkwater joined the Manchester United academy at the tender age of nine (9), progressing through the ranks before earning a trainee contract in July 2006.

In his first season at the club, Drinkwater became a regular in the Manchester United under-18 team, making 27 appearances and scoring two goals. His exceptional performances eventually catapulted him to the reserves team where he became a regular, making 18 appearances and getting on the score sheet twice.

Before he could graduate to the Manchester United first team he was loaned, first to Huddersfield to gain first team experience.

He spent the entire 2009-10 at Huddersfield. His second loan spell was with Cardiff City in mid-2010. This was followed by further loan spells at Watford and Barnsley in 2011 and 2012 respectively.


Move to Leicester

It came as no surprise when in January of 2012; Danny joined Leicester City from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.

After being named Championship Player of the Month for December 2013, Danny was also one of three players who received a nomination for the Championship Player of the Year Award.

Danny had his most successful year as a professional, scoring seven goals and being named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year alongside teammates Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan as Leicester were promoted to the Premier League after winning the Championship.

In June 2014, Drinkwater signed a new four-year deal with Leicester after helping the Foxes win promotion to the Premier League for the first time in ten years.

Drinkwater played consistently as the Foxes won the Premier League title in 2015-16, alongside his midfield partners N’Golo Kanté (now at Chelsea), Marc Albrighton and Riyad Mahrez.

On 23 January 2016, Drinkwater scored his first top-flight goal, opening a 3-0 win over Stoke City at the King Power Stadium, Leicester’s home ground.


Chelsea transfer

On the 25th of August 2016, Drinkwater signed a long term contract to remain with the club to 2021 and as fate would have it Chelsea signed Drinkwater on transfer deadline day on the 31st of August 2017 with all the formalities finalized in the early hours of 1 September 2017.

Drinkwater signed for Premier League champions Chelsea on a five-year contract, for £35 million.

It remains to be seen whether the Drinkwater and Kanté combination will be rekindled at Chelsea.


Promising acquisition

That very important Chelsea engine room seems to have one automatic starter in the form of Kanté and we will all watch with excitement to find out who is going to partner Kanté from a rich list that includes Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Fabregas and even David Luiz, if Antonio Conte so prefers.

In as much as the media keeps saying Chelsea made a mistake by selling Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United, this writer believes that the players we have at our disposal are better than Matic, and this will be proved as the season progresses.


Written by Spencer Joubert

Follow Spencer on Twitter @SpencerJoubert

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