According to Sky Sports, Premier League champions Chelsea are interested in signing Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
The Blues sold Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic to Manchester United on Monday for £40million.
Reports suggest that Blues boss Antonio Conte has identified Drinkwater as a possible replacement for Matic. Drinkwater signing for Chelsea would prove something of a surprise move.
Form dipped last season without Kante
Danny Drinkwater earned immense praise in the heart of the Leicester midfield in the Foxes title-winning year. His combative play and steadying influence helped the Foxes to the biggest shock in Premier League history
However, following the departure of midfield partner N’Golo Kante, ironically to Chelsea last summer Drinkwater’s form seemed to dip. The team as a whole experienced a poor campaign in the Premier League and Drinkwater was no longer receiving such glowing reviews without Kante.
In fact, some are now suggesting he is just an average English central midfielder. The 27-year-old had forced his way into the England squad in the Foxes title-winning season but struggled to replicate the same form last season.
Not many would claim he had an outstanding campaign, even in a poor Leicester side he did not really stand out for much of the season. Despite not enjoying a fantastic season, reportedly Leicester are unwilling to sell their central midfielder this summer.
Chelsea have strong midfield options
Chelsea have strong midfield options with Drinkwater’s former teammate Kante likely to partner new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko when the latter returns from injury. It would be hard to argue that Drinkwater could get in the team ahead of either of the French internationals.
Then there is also the fact that Spanish central midfielder Cesc Fabregas is an option for Conte for a role alongside one of the more defensively minded midfielders in the heart of the Blues midfield.
Fabregas is a different sort of player to the Kante, Bakayoko and Drinkwater for that matter. He is a far more creative and forward-thinking player. Drinkwater would also have a big job getting in the team ahead of the Spaniard.
In all intents and purposes, Drinkwater would likely be backup to the central midfielders already at the club. No doubt a move to the Premier League champions would be a tempting one for Drinkwater.
However, whether he would want to swap guaranteed first-team football at Leicester for life on the Chelsea bench is unclear. The Blues may have strong centre midfield options, but they are in for a long campaign, so may need to add to their central midfield options.
The Blues are also reportedly interested in signing Everton’s Ross Barkley, Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. All three are promising players, who have failed to live up to their potential in their careers so far.
Drinkwater looks an unlikely signing
Clubs like Chelsea sign players that will help them win trophies. For me, Danny Drinkwater does not give them anything better than what they already have.
The Blues are odds of 7/2 to win the Premier League title next season. I doubt the signing of Danny Drinkwater would seriously alter those odds. The midfielder may have won the title with Leicester, but some would say with some justification that Kante had a far bigger hand or foot in that triumph by the Foxes.
I am not trying to do Drinkwater down as a player. However, I really do believe he would struggle to feature for a team like Chelsea on a regular basis. Even if Leicester were willing to part with the midfielder, I just cannot see the Blues signing Drinkwater this summer.
Is Danny Drinkwater really a transfer target for Chelsea?
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