Forgotten Chelsea man still has hope of career revival at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea outcast Danny Drinkwater is still aiming to make a return to the first team at Stamford Bridge after a nightmare few years since leaving Leicester City.

Drinkwater joined the Blues for £35million in September 2017 having established himself as one of the Premier League’s standout central midfielders for the Foxes. He was one of their key players in the miraculous 2015/16 title-winning season.

But he has made just 23 appearances for Chelsea. All but one of those came in his first season in west London, with the other coming in the 2018 Community Shield final.

Since then he has endured disastrous loan spells at Burnley and Aston Villa. The 31-year-old is now at Turkish club Kasimpasa until the end of the season in a third roll of the dice to revive his career.

“My time at Chelsea has been nothing but frustrating,” Drinkwater said on the Elmatch Program.

“It’s a weird position that I’m in. I want to continue with Chelsea. I feel like I have unfinished business with this club.”

The midfielder is getting regular playing time for the first time in nearly three years in the Super Lig. He has appeared in all of Kasimpasa’s last seven games, starting four and coming on as a substitute in the other three.

When asked if he could force his way into Thomas Tuchel‘s current Chelsea side, the former England man replied: “I would like to think so.

“I don’t know if it is a good idea to go back to Chelsea and start declaring these things. I have got a long way to go.

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“I have to try and start enjoying my football again because in this moment it has disappeared. I keep working hard, I keep grafting and I am doing the right things at the right times and I need to stay injury free and see where it takes me.

“It is a short career so I need to keep doing the right things and hope things turn around.”

Free agent has multiple clubs on alert

Drinkwater’s task might be made harder, with his parent club reportedly expressing their interest in signing Hakan Calhanoglu when his contract with AC Milan expires in the summer.

Calhanoglu is on the radar of a number of top clubs as he prepares to become a free agent. In four years at Milan, he has provided 30 goals and 47 assists from 163 appearances.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the Turkey international. They got the chance to see him in action when the two sides met in the Europa League last month.

Links with a move to United for Calhanoglu backdate to last year. However, they now face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea.

READ MORE: Chelsea register interest in creative talent already on Man Utd radar