‘It has been a long journey to get here,’ said Danny Drinkwater on the day he signed for Chelsea in 2017, ‘but I am very happy and looking forward to helping the club win more trophies’.
‘Help,’ is perhaps the wrong word, looking back over the last 18 months.
Chelsea have indeed continued to win trophies – they lifted the FA Cup in 2017-18 and the Europa League in 2018-19. Drinkwater, though, has had limited influence.
Danny Drinkwater has a chance to turn his Chelsea career around under Frank Lampard
Since signing for £35million from Leicester on September 1, 2017, the English midfielder who is paid £100,000 per week has been seen on the pitch for 522 minutes.
As it stands, Chelsea have paid £9.6m in wages to Drinkwater. Break it down and they have paid £18,390 per minute he has played. Add the £35m fee, and it becomes £85,440.
Former Blues boss Antonio Conte handed him the odd chance to impress two seasons ago, while Maurizio Sarri decided he had seen enough after the Community Shield.
A half-hour appearance at Wembley Stadium on August 5 was his one and only opportunity under Sarri, who showed his disdain for Drinkwater on several occasions.
The night Chelsea won the Europa League, for example, they named 11 substitutes on their bench compared to Arsenal's 12. Sat at home, watching on television, was Drinkwater.
The midfielder has played just 522 minutes of football in his two seasons with the Blues
Drinkwater's (right) last appearance was in the Community Shield against Man City in August
It meant he finished the 2018-19 season having not appeared in any competition, other than that single second-half cameo against Manchester City in the Community Shield.