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“In the cell I thought: ‘I’m an idiot, I got in trouble because of the parties.’ The drama of the Premier League champion in Leicester

Date: April 19, 2024 Time: 02:46:10

Daniel Drinkwater was considered one of the best defensive midfielders in England in the mid-2010s. Together with Leicester, he sensationally became the 2015/2016 Premier League champion, played in the Champions League, and then moved to Chelsea . But a move to a top club ruined Drinkwater’s career. Have you heard from Danny in the last few years? It is not surprising. The midfielder has already missed one season, he was left without a team. What happened to him?

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In the summer of 2017, the Englishman was acquired by Chelsea. Drinkwater was happy to move to a top-tier club: “I’m delighted to be a Chelsea player and I can’t wait to start. It has been a long adventure to get here, but I am very happy and eager to help the club win more trophies. Chelsea is the best place for that. I never experienced such emotions. There was disappointment, joy, excitement. I am grateful to everyone for this transfer. Everything went well at Leicester, but after winning the Premier League, I felt like I wanted to win even more trophies.”

However, it soon became clear that the transition was not justified. He initially injured his ankle in training, so his Chelsea debut didn’t take place until the end of October. Danny then refused to be called up to the England squad, sparking a flurry of criticism. And at Chelsea, Drinkwater never earned the trust of manager Antonio Conte, making just 22 appearances in all competitions this season. Also, Gareth Southgate did not challenge Danny for the 2018 World Cup.

danny drinks water

Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Drinkwater’s next season was even worse. Maurizio Sarri did not see the midfielder point blank. On the bench, Daniel got bored and redirected his energy in an unnecessary direction. In April 2019, Drinkwater was seen with two girls at a club. There was nothing illegal about it, but later, coming back from one of the parties, Daniel got behind the wheel drunk. As a result, he was in an accident, lost control and crashed into another car. No one was seriously injured, but Drinkwater was arrested nonetheless. Later, the court determined that the Chelsea player at the time of the accident, the dose of alcohol in the blood exceeded the norm by 2.5 times. He was sentenced to 70 hours of community service and suspended for 1 year and 8 months.

“I am single, I live in central London. So, what happened to me is what happens to a lot of guys: I went to a bar to have fun and have a few drinks. But it does not work. I remember sitting in a cell after the accident. Thoughts swirled in my head: “Idiot, you had an accident due to late night parties.” It felt like a ton of bricks were falling on me. And I realized: I need to put myself in order. No, it wasn’t clinical depression, but I wasn’t feeling very well. Luckily I spoke to the right people. It helps when you have a lot of psychological problems,” Drinkwater said of that period in an interview with SportBible.

daniel drinks water

Photo: From Drinkwater’s personal archive

Before the 2019/2020 season, Chelsea was managed by Frank Lampard. However, the new coach did not give Danny a chance. The player was loaned to Burnley. For the entire season, he spent only two meetings. The period at Burnley was also remembered only for one scandal. While celebrating a friend’s birthday in a Manchester bar, Drinkwater began molesting the girlfriend of Scunthorpe United footballer Kgosi Ntle. The player asked Danny to calm down, but he continued the courtship. A fight broke out and the guards kicked both athletes away.

Already in Drinkwater Street he was attacked by six men. They beat him, because of which the footballer received bruises on his arms, legs, a bruise under his eye, a cut on his cheek, and also injured his ankle ligaments. Danny himself barely remembered the details of the night, since he was too drunk. He never played for Burnley again. He was taken by Aston Villa, but even there Drinkwater was not particularly impressed. He was only remembered for the fact that in training he headbutted his teammate Hota.

daniel drinks water

Photo: El Sol newspaper

Chelsea dreamed of getting rid of Daniel, but could not find him a new club. I had to send the player on loan. In the winter of 2021, Drinkwater was acquired by the Turkish Kasimpasa. But even there the Englishman was unsuccessful: only 11 matches + injury. New loan for next season to Reading. In the Championship, Danny played more often. 34 games in a season in a team with former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll. But Reading did not reach a full agreement with Drinkwater. And he ended the contract with Chelsea. Danny remained a free agent. Chelsea offered him the managerial job: “He was 32 years old, I remember being told that he was incredibly good at communicating with young players, so Chelsea offered him the managerial job. Did they treat me like this for a few years and then give me a job? I thought it was some kind of compensation,” Drinkwater said.

daniel drinks water

Former Chelsea midfielder

“After the first year at Chelsea, I immediately understood where it was all going. To be honest, the question of expectations from me, given the amount of the transfer, never crossed my mind. You laugh about it with your partners, and after a week everyone forgets about it. You just hope you can help the club. I joined Chelsea and wanted to fall in love with this place. When I signed the contract, a month later I bought a house. I was going to move my family to London, my dogs. But already in the course of the first season, I thought that everything was going wrong.

Before the start of the 2022/2023 season, no one took the midfielder to his place. Thus Drinkwater crossed out a year of his career, though he did not announce the completion of it. From a €38m transfer to Chelsea, Danny has gone from being ignored by lower division clubs.

“Football gave me some absolutely wonderful years. Yeah, I’ve been through shitty times, but the good years outweigh the bad. I was able to buy my mom and dad a dream house. I was able to take care of my family, so I won’t say that football is crap. This is my childhood dream. The last three years have been the toughest in football, but I’m not going to complain,” Drinkwater said. Despite everything, he is not going to end his career. But will we see him in the Premier League?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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