October 3, 2023


With the book closing on the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea, we can now safely declare the summer of 2017, and the 2017-18 season overall, as its worst in terms of transfers and decision-making in the transfer market — helping to create the gap to the top that we’re still trying to close to this day. If we ever need a stark example of what can go wrong even when we have £200m to spend like right now, we only have to look back five years.

Perhaps the biggest misstep of that year — and there were a few: Bakayoko, Zappacosta, Morata, and Emerson and Barkley in January — was spending £35m on Danny Drinkwater on transfer deadline day. He would play 23 times for us in the next 12 months, and then zero times in the four years since. Failed loans, training ground incidents, and off-pitch controversies became the only time we’d hear of the former England international midfielder.

But Drinkwater’s contract has now run its course. There’s much to regret for both sides about the past five years, but what’s done is done. It’s time to move on.

“My time at Chelsea 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 of the pitch, lack of game time… the list of excuses could be endless but I would not and can not change what’s happened.

“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 of [sic] loved for you to see me at my best in that shirt doing what I love. All the best x.”

-Danny Drinkwater; source: Instagram

Drinkwater actually found a small measure of success on loan at Reading in the Championship last season, giving hope of a late career resurrection yet.


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