Drinkwater was told he ‘wasn’t in Chelsea plans’ in transfer window’s final hour

Danny Drinkwater was told that he was not in Chelsea's plans with just one hour to go in the 2018 summer transfer window.

The former England international endured a torrid five-year spell with the Blues after signing from Leicester City for £34million on deadline day in August 2017. Having made just 23 appearances for the club before his release at the end of last season, Drinkwater has now opened up on his time at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Drinkwater revealed that he was told by Maurizio Sarri in 2018 that he was not part of the manager's plans, with just one hour left in the transfer window.

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"It got to the last hour of the transfer window and [I] got pulled into the office, not expected at all," explained the 32-year-old. "'Don't think you're going to be in our plans'. This is Sarri, being translated by Gianfranco. And I was like 'what?'

"Sarri and I got on like a house on fire off the pitch. On the pitch, we were like chalk and cheese. I was like – 'why are you telling me now? An hour before the window closes? I need time'. He replied, 'No, no, we've got clubs abroad you can look at…'

"My reaction was – 'No, I've got my young son. He is my priority'. So I decided to stay until January."

Instead of leaving the club during that window, Drinkwater remained at Chelsea for another 18 months before being loaned out for the first time in January 2020, joining Burnley for the rest of the season.

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Temporary moves to Aston Villa, Turkish side Kasimpasa and most recently Reading followed before Drinkwater left Chelsea upon the expiry of his contract earlier this summer.

Although Sarri lasted just one season in west London, Drinkwater failed to earn a regular first-team spot under both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel after the Italian's departure.

Overall, Drinkwater played 23 times for Chelsea, scoring once, with just one of those appearances coming under Sarri, a 30-minute cameo against Manchester City in the 2018 Community Shield.

The Manchester United academy graduate is currently a free agent having so far failing to find a new club since leaving Chelsea.


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