Danny Drinkwater has joined Aston Villa on loan from Chelsea for the rest of the season, with Dean Smith clearly delighted to have added the experienced midfielder to his ranks.
Drinkwater had travelled to Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Tuesday morning to undergo a medical prior to the move.
Villa boss Dean Smith said: “Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title-winning team and has represented England, so he is a vastly experienced player.
“He will strengthen our squad significantly.”
Villa had been seeking midfield reinforcements after John McGinn was ruled out for three months with an ankle injury.
Drinkwater is seeking a fresh start after a frustrating period in his career and explaining the decision to sign him, he added “I’ve spoken to people who’ve worked with him before. He wants to play football.
“From meeting him I liked the hunger, I saw it in his eyes. He has a lot to go and prove now. It’s not happened at Chelsea for whatever reason.
“There’s a similarity to Tyrone Mings when we brought him in from Bournemouth last season.
“It’s an opportunity for him to go and show everyone what a quality player he is. We all know it’s there, he just hasn’t had the opportunity to show it over the last three seasons.”
“He was on the bench against us on New Year’s Day. If someone is on the bench for a Sean Dyche team he’s ready to play.”
With the arrival of Danny Drinkwater, Dean Smith believes that Aston Villa have got a player with a point to prove. 💪
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2020
The 29-year-old midfielder spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Burnley, but struggled to make an impression in Sean Dyche’s side, limited to just one appearance in the Premier League and two overall.
Drinkwater was sidelined for a stint earlier in the campaign after suffering ankle ligament damage in September during an incident at a Manchester nightclub.
The Manchester United academy product was part of Leicester’s Premier League-winning side in 2016, and moved to Chelsea in a £35million deal a year later.
However, the three-times capped England midfielder failed to nail down a starting place at Stamford Bridge, making only five league starts over a two-year period.