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08th Jul 2022

Danny Drinkwater ‘angry’ at Chelsea treatment, but insists he’s not bitter

Daniel Brown

Danny Drinkwater Chelsea

‘I’m angry because of how it’s gone and how I was treated – I’m not bitter about it.’

Danny Drinkwater has opened up on his nightmare spell at Chelsea, admitting that he wasted some of the best years of his career.

The 32-year-old, who won the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016, made a £35million move to Stamford Bridge in  2017 on a five-year deal.

However, his move to London didn’t work out and the midfielder was cast aside for the majority of his time at the club – making just 23 appearances, scoring one goal.

Danny Drinkwater is‘ angry’ at Chelsea treatment.

Drinkwater, who left the Blues when his contract expired last month, has since spoken about the difficulties he faced after being released by Chelsea.

“I’m relieved, because it’s clear it wasn’t a situation that was good for me or the club,” Drinkwater told Sky Sports when he was asked about his Chelsea exit.

“I’m angry because of how it’s gone and how I was treated – I’m not bitter about it, you can look back and say “what ifs” and have hindsight which is obviously huge. I think it was a long time coming.”

Drinkwater believes he wasted some of his best years

Asked if he has wasted the best years of his career, he responded: “Yeah, it feels like ‘why have you thrown those five years away?’

“If you’d stayed at Leicester, if you didn’t get injured and if the club treated you differently. They’re all ifs. It’s frustrating, 100 per cent. Don’t think I’m still not burning about how it’s gone. I still kick myself for it. But on the other side, am I going to keep kicking myself? Because I can’t change it.

“Can I help myself going forward? That’s why I went on loan, why I went to Aston Villa and Burnley on loan, which didn’t work, and going to Turkey at the age of 30 – I never thought I’d do that.

“It’s also the reason I dropped down to the Championship. I’ve been trying to do the right things. As I’ve tried doing them, something’s gone wrong.”

He also revealed that he has had therapy to deal with Chelsea struggles, dismissing suggestions that he had an easy life not playing every week.

“That’s not true,” he said when asked if he lived the high life on big wages while rarely training. “‘Living the life’ lasts about two weeks. You figure out you’re not involved in games, only training, so I could go out with the lads, I’m single, it’s great, I can do all this. I was loving it, but in the background, there’s always things that burn away.

“And as a person, if you’re not open enough to speak to the right people, it chews away at you. I didn’t learn that until further down the line. I was always like ‘I’m a big strong bloke, I can deal with this’.”

Told he needs to leave the club, at eleventh hour.

During his time at Chelsea, Drinkwater was told by then-Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, through a translator, that he needed to find a new club at the 11th hour – just one year after he joined the club.

“It got to the last hour of the transfer window and [I] got pulled into the office, not expected at all,” Drinkwater said. ‘”Don’t think you’re going to be in our plans”. And I was like “what?”

“Me and Sarri got on like a house on fire off the pitch. You couldn’t chalk and cheese it from on the pitch, off the pitch. It was mad but at the same time good. 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 decision then was, ‘I’m not going, I can’t go. My priority is my son. I need to get this figured out’. So I decided to stay until January.”

The next step.

The 32-year-old also revealed that he has received a number of offers from clubs, and that he is now taking the time to think about the right step, for both him and his family.

“There are a few offers flying about,’ he said. “It’s a weird time for football, especially when you’re free to the market.

“That last season helped me massively, getting all those games under my belt, and hopefully the second half of the season showed I’ve still got the ability and hunger to push myself.

“There are options, it’s just about the decision. I love winning, so it’s a difficult thing to let go at this age.”

Drinkwater spent last season on loan at Reading where he played 32 games for the Championship club.

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