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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Chelsea should bring back Drinkwater if Jorginho leaves

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There is a lot of discussion about potential transfers in and out of Frank Lampard’s current Chelsea squad. Of course, there’s not much else to discuss at the moment from a footballing point of view.

One such topic that has recently cropped up is the possibility of Maurizio Sarri’s Jorginho moving back over to Italy at the behest of his former cohort. Jorginho’s a decent footballer. He arrived under Sarri and as a result of that association suffered, at times, harsh criticism from some of Chelsea’s fan base.

With Sarri gone and Frank Lampard in, Jorginho had to learn and adapt his style of play to suit his new manager. He’s done okay during the season, so far, but is still struggling to come to terms with the pace of the Premier League.His propensity to lose possession and then get cautioned shows his own frustration though.

A move back to Serie A and a link-up with Sarri may be his best option moving forward. We’ve seen in recent years players that have struggled to adapt to the Premier League, so it’s no sleight on the player himself.

Chelsea fans and supporters have no need to fear the Brazilian born Italian’s departure though. Not only is there N’golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley, Billy Gilmour and potentially Ruben Loftus-Cheek available to fill Jorginho’s boots, but Lampard will have Daniel Noel Drinkwater back on the books next season.

It would be fair to say that the former Leicester City midfielder has never really lived up to the expectation that his Premier League winners medal points to. However, the two Italian managers he played under at Chelsea didn’t take to him as Claudio Ranieri did with the Foxes. Given the partnership he shared at Leicester with N’Golo Kante during that 2015-16 campaign, the fact they’ve never had the opportunity to reprise the association is surprising.

Drinkwater still has two years left on his contract at the Bridge and is currently on loan at Aston Villa. Chelsea paid Leicester in the region of £35 million for the now 30-year-old. His value has never truly exceeded £20 million. His current value is somewhere around £4-5 million. Somehow, you’d imagine both Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia would like to boost his price before moving him with a year left on his contract.

The absolute best way they can do that is by getting him some time on the football pitch. With the possibility of the transfer market stalling in this on-going pandemic crisis, all clubs may have to make do and mend for another season. No matter how this season ends, circumstances could dictate another disruptive season follows. Games potentially will still be played behind closed doors. Money—and to some degree interest—may wane, but Chelsea cannot afford to lose so much cash on Drinkwater.

This upcoming window is likely to be different than any others from previous years. We’ve already seen reports of players worried about taking to the field to play the game they so dearly love. Realistically, how many will want to ‘up-sticks’ and move their families across the world in the current climate of fear. Not only that, but team owners will have seen their vast fortunes subside as financial and commodity markets crash and burn.

Frank Lampard is fortunate enough to have a mix of young and, let’s say, more experienced players at his disposal. Danny Drinkwater, of course, falls into the latter, but he is a Premier League winner and should be respected for that of nothing else. At some point on Zoom, Marina may well be having a conversation with Lampard along the line of “Let’s get him back from Villa, integrate him into the team, boost his valuation and move him on in a year’s time.”

Next: Ross Barkley’s place at Chelsea is as unclear as ever

Whether Frank runs with that remains to be seen, but with so much up in the air at the moment, anything is possible.

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