By Nick Purewal, PA
Danny Drinkwater has apologised to Chelsea fans for a “business move gone wrong” on confirming the end of his five years at Stamford Bridge.
Drinkwater’s loan stint at Reading finished last week, and the 32-year-old has now announced his official Chelsea departure too.
The one-time England midfielder joined the Blues from Leicester for £35million in 2017 but failed to make any telling impact at Stamford Bridge.
From injury gluts to off-field troubles, Drinkwater never managed to warm to his west London task.
The former Manchester United trainee helped Leicester win the league in 2015 but now finds himself a free agent, after four loans in three years to close out his Chelsea tenure.
“My time at Chelsea has come to an end, actually feels really strange writing this,” Drinkwater posted on Instagram.
“Me, the club and the fans are hugely disappointed there is no doubt about that.
“Injuries, how I have been treated, mistakes I have made, issues off the pitch, lack of game time; the list of excuses could be endless but I would not and can not change what’s happened.
“Football’s a fantastic sport but this for both parties was a business move gone wrong, it’s as black and white as that.
“To the Chelsea fans I apologise for how this has turned out.
“I would have loved for you to see me at my best in that shirt doing what I love.”
Drinkwater was banned from driving for 20 months in 2019 after a crash when over the drink-drive limit.
Later that year he was caught in a nightclub altercation, and has been battling to rebuild his career ever since.
“I’m going to look at positives over the past five years,” said Drinkwater.
“I have played with great players, coached by awesome managers, worked with some brilliant staff, met some fantastic people, lived in some beautiful places, travelled the world and won some more silverware.”