The Chalkboard: Danny Drinkwater would bring balance to West Ham’s midfield

According to the print version of The Daily Mail (January 23, page 65), as reported by HITC, West Ham United are keen to secure the services of outcast Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater in this January transfer window.

The Hammers could certainly do with bolstering their midfield contingent, especially in light of the injuries suffered by Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez, and Drinkwater would be an ideal fit for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. 

On the chalkboard

The Irons currently lack an effective box-to-box midfielder. Wilshere’s ongoing fitness concerns rule out the former Arsenal man as a reliable option. Elsewhere, club captain Mark Noble no longer has the stamina to fulfil such a role, whilst the likes of Pedro Obiang and Declan Rice are too defensively minded to offer a genuine threat in the final third on a consistent basis.

Drinkwater, however, has the capacity to perform this duty at the London Stadium and play a link role between West Ham’s defensive and attacking units.

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His vision, creativity, technical ability and eye for goal make him an effective presence in attacking moves, whilst his defensive diligence and composure in possession ensure he isn’t a liability when his team comes under pressure. 

An escape from Stamford Bridge is exactly what the 3-cap England international needs this month, and it’s easy to see how he could fit into Pellegrini’s plans.

A fresh start

Since his £35 million switch from Leicester City to Chelsea (BBC) in the summer of 2017, Drinkwater has failed to establish himself as a first team regular with the west London club.

In all his time with the Blues, the 28-year-old midfielder – who won a Premier League title in his time with the Foxes – has made just 12 league appearances, and has not registered a single minute of action in the top flight this season.

Drinkwater needs a fresh start to get his career back on track, and a switch to Stratford this month could give him exactly that.