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Danny Drinkwater – From a King Power cult hero to a squad player

Thursday 31st August 2017
It's most likely that Danny Drinkwater will be a Chelsea player before the end of August. Drinkwater must be relishing the prospects of joining a bigger club. Still, the biggest consequence of that transfer is that the Leicester midfield maestro could just be securing himself a seat on the Chelsea bench.

Whether Chelsea eventually pays as much as £30 million for Danny Drinkwater, it wouldn't change the fact that they're buying Drinkwater for depth. Last season, N'Golo Kante's regular partner in midfield was Nemanja Matic; the Serb and the Frenchman struck a partnership that proved too lethal for most opponents. As back up, the Blues had Nathaniel Chalobah and Cesc Fabregas.

Whereas Fabregas was limited to just thirteen league starts, Chalobah's season was more terrible as he started just one game in the ten league appearances he made for Chelsea. For reasons best known to the Chelsea hierarchy, the impressive Nemanja Matic was allowed to leave for a direct rival. That left a spot free in the Chelsea midfield. That void has since been filled by the signing of Tiemoué Bakayoko. But Nathaniel Chalobah has also left for Watford, leaving a vacant position on the bench for someone (Drinkwater) to fill.

Chelsea is actively competing for titles on four fronts this season; especially in the Champions League where the Blues are making a return after a 2-year absence. So, they do need a bigger squad with more experienced players. In central midfield, they have that already. N'Golo Kante, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas are more than capable of holding the forth. This unearths the next question:

Where does Danny Drinkwater fit in at Chelsea?

The easiest answer is the bench. But we can look at it from another perspective. Drinkwater would be a great squad player. Manchester United has that in Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini and the Red Devils are looking unstoppable so far. Chelsea wants that in the Englishman.

Drinkwater has been a huge part of Leicester's success in recent years. From their remarkable promotion to the Premier League in 2013-14 to an unthinkable Premier League title in 2015-16, the Mancunian has been a Leicester mainstay. For the Foxes, the 27-year-old was the King Power cult hero who dictated their game from central midfield.

At Chelsea, 'Drinks' will face a totally different breed of cats. He'll meet a better dictator of the game in Cesc Fabregas. The 27-year-old Englishman will also meet a more well-rounded combative midfielder in N'Golo Kante (one he knows too well) then there's Bakayoko. Drinkwater will definitely find himself competing for places with some world class midfielders.
Danny Drinkwater thrives in the 4-4-2 formation, although Chelsea plays with the 3-4-3, it's quite similar to the 4-4-2 in the sense that they always require at least two central midfielders at every point in time. Drinkwater has proven he can play both as a pass-master and a combatant midfield linchpin, deep from central midfield. Being combative is a quality that endears a player to Antonio Conte and Drinkwater comes with loads of it. This implies that Drinkwater will definitely get his chance if he does become a Chelsea player.

Nevertheless, Danny Drinkwater signing for Chelsea will see the player moving from first on the team sheet at Leicester to being fourth in the central midfield pecking order behind N'Golo Kante, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas. Whether that's good for his career, we'll wait to find out.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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