Premier League • England

Danny Drinkwater bids farewell to Chelsea with ‘hugely disappointed’ admission

Danny Drinkwater playing for Chelsea

Danny Drinkwater has reflected on a “business move gone wrong” as his release from Chelsea approaches after an unsuccessful five years.

Drinkwater joined Chelsea in 2017 from Leicester City, where he had been a regular starter in a Premier League title win during the 2015-16 season. But unlike midfield partner N’Golo Kante, his move from the King Power Stadium to Stamford Bridge did not further his career.

Instead, the Englishman was held back by a range of issues throughout his time at Chelsea. He only made 12 Premier League appearances in his first season there and would never add to them.

Loan spells with Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa and Reading have followed. Only in the latter has he really built up any kind of continuity.

But he is now set for another reset in his career. His Chelsea contract will finally expire next month, after which he will be a free agent.

The 32-year-old has opened up on his impending exit from the club via a statement on Instagram. Confessing the disappointments of his Chelsea spell, he admitted plainly that the move went wrong.

That said, he hasn’t only taken negatives from the experience.

The midfielder wrote: “My time at Chelsea FC has come to an end… actually feels really strange writing this. Me, the club and fans are hugely disappointed with the outcome there is no doubt about that.

“Injuries, how I have been treated, mistakes I have made, issues off the pitch, lack of game time… the list of excuses could be endless but I would not and can not change what’s happened.

Danny Drinkwater looks at positives

“I’m going to look at positives over the past five years. I have played with great players, coached by awesome managers, worked with some brilliant staff, met some fantastic people, lived in some beautiful places, travelled the world and won some more silverware.

“Football’s a fantastic sport but this for both parties was a business move gone wrong, it’s as black and white as that. To the Chelsea fans I apologise for how this has turned out I would have loved for you to see me at my best in that shirt doing what I love. All the best.”

Drinkwater concludes his Chelsea career with 23 appearances across all competitions. In contrast, he made 24 while on loan with Reading in the Championship this season.

He has never lived up to his £35million fee and will have to find a fresh start after his Chelsea exit.

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