Danny Drinkwater could be set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season as he grows increasingly impatient with his limited playing time at Stamford Bridge.
Drinkwater initially struggled with injury after arriving from Leicester in the summer and has found it hard to force his way into the first team since his recovery: he has managed just five league starts and 12 total appearances in the top flight.
According to Matt Law of The Telegraph, the 28-year-old has become so frustrated with his Blues’ tenure that he could well look to leave the side that signed him for £35 million not even 12 months ago.
Drinkwater pushed for a move to Chelsea during the summer and handed in a transfer request to the Foxes to make a deal happen. However, things have clearly not gone according to plan. He would have hoped that being reunited with N’Golo Kante, with whom he formed a formidable midfield combination at Leicester, would have brought out the best in him, but this has not been the case.
It is quite evident that the Chelsea hierarchy do not have high faith in Drinkwater’s ability to perform at the highest level. If anything, it appears that they see him as a cover option and squad rotation player at best. This is evident when you consider that even when Tiemoue Bakayoko has been performing poorly, Antonio Conte has opted not to play him.
Following the arrival of Ross Barkley from Everton in January, it is difficult to see Drinkwater fighting his way into the first-team plans at the Blues and as he has lost his place in the England squad and a ticket to the World Cup, a deal makes perfect sense.
Chelsea are likely to undergo a major squad overhaul during the summer as they aim to rebuild following a disappointing campaign, and it is easy to see Drinkwater being one of the players that the club will let go of.
The midfielder was a key player for the Leicester side that shockingly won the Premier League title during the 2015/16 season and if he is made available for a transfer, it is unlikely that he will be short of possible destinations.
However, it is unlikely that the Blues will be able to recoup the £35 million they paid to recruit the former Manchester United man last summer.