Manchester United wrapped up the signing of Chelsea midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic for a reported 40 Million Pound fee. This begs the question, how will title-holders Chelsea respond to losing one of their seemingly indispensable assets?
Well, as we have come to know, Chelsea move swiftly to bolster their squad after letting go of players. And this time it is to no one’s surprise that they are already pursuing targets. Reports emerged that the Blues are after Leicester City midfield enforcer, Danny Drinkwater. The fans are clearly not happy as they do not believe Drinkwater is worth the £30 million Leicester are asking for him.
The Englishman had a mixed season in the 2016-17 campaign. But it would be harsh to judge him based on the spectacular and once-in-a-lifetime season he had had in 2015-16. In that season though, his partnership with Chelsea man N’golo Kante was devastating. That midfield duo may yet reignite their partnership at Stamford Bridge this season.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had enquired about a move for Bayern Starlet Renato Sanches after the breakout star of Euro 16 had a first season to forget at the Allianz Arena. But that move may not materialize as Bayern issued a statement stating they wanted to keep the talented Portuguese on their books for the coming season.
Leicester City though, are under no pressure to sell as Drinkwater signed a deal which runs until 2021. The England international signed for Leicester in 2012 from Manchester United and has established himself in the team under many different managers including Ranieri, Nigel Pearson and now Shakespeare.
Drinkwater had an average last season. It was always going to be judged on the season before where he showed incredible maturity in shielding the rear-guard. Last season saw Drinkwater making 29 appearances in the league, with 2.7 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game. He notched a goal and an assist. He made 266 recoveries, 40 interceptions and 52 clearances. The Leicester man managed to string together 60 passes per game with an accuracy of 77.4%.
Those stats suggest that if Conte were to get his man, he will need to put a lot of work in to make Drinkwater a force again.
What he offers and is he worth it?
Chelsea are in need to replace the Serbian, Nemanja Matic. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to make choices which will hurt them in the future. In this transfer market, Chelsea would be heavily over-paying for a midfielder with a limited skill-set. This transfer, if it comes to fruition, would most certainly benefit Chelsea in terms of squad depth. But they would be better off looking elsewhere, or even promoting from within, to fill the Matic-shaped hole in their midfield. They have already signed Bakayoko this summer. Hence, it would make sense to sign a low-key midfielder, at the right price, of course.