Drinkwater
By Aleksandr Osipov from Ukraine [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Football Fan

It is understood that Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia who is in charge of player negotiations at Chelsea has stepped up the club’s pursuit for more signings in order to add depth and quality to a rather thin looking squad before the transfer window slams shut.

Conte wants to see at least four more players arrive this summer with Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater said to be one of them on his radar.

The 27-year-old is seen as an able backup by Conte to Kante and Fabregas. This especially because their £40m signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is still finding his way back to fitness. The club sold Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford and also loaned out Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace. Highly rated Academy graduate Lewis Baker was left out of the squad for the Community Shield and looks set to be loaned out as well, leaving Chelsea very brittle in the middle of the park.

Drinkwater has become an increasingly influential player over the past two seasons and was one of the key members of Leicester’s title winning squad of 2015/2016.

He also helped them reach the Champions League quarter finals in their first ever appearance in the competition.

A detailed comparison of Nemanja Matic’s title winning campaign shows with Drinkwater’s 2015/2016 success yields some fascinating results.

Stats Danny Drinkwater 2015/2016 Nemanja Matic

2016/2017

Pass completion 78% 88%
Assists 7 7
Chances Created 44 27
Successful Take-ons 31 31
Blocks 17 8
Clearances 72 49
Interceptions 55 55
Tackles won 74 37
Aerial Duels 29 38
 
 

 

These statistics speak volumes of Drinkwater’s importance to Leicester in the glorious season and has not only mirrored Nemanja Matic but bettered him in most departments. Drinkwater will not only provide competition to Chelsea’s current crop of midfielders but he will add depth to the side which is something they desperately need as they return to the Champions League this season.

Significantly, he shares an excellent understanding with PFA player of the Season N’Golo Kante along with whom he formed the fulcrum of Leicester’s squad. The English international has 4 years left on his contract and it will take upwardly of £30m to persuade Leicester to sell their star man.

Competing on all fronts with the current squad at his helm will be difficult for Antonio Conte and he won’t be expecting to be as lucky with injuries this season as he was last season. In Drinkwater, he can get a player who is not only very talented but also used to the Premier League and therefore can hit the ground running.

Stats source: Squawka
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