Drinkwater to return to Chelsea after just two Burnley appearances

Goal.com
The three-time capped England international is heading back to his parent club after failing to nail down a starting spot
The three-time capped England international is heading back to his parent club after failing to nail down a starting spot

Danny Drinkwater will return to Chelsea this month after making just two appearances for Burnley since joining on loan.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche confirmed at a news conference on Friday that the midfielder would be heading back to Stamford Bridge.

Drinkwater played just once in the Premier League for Burnley, in the 4-1 home defeat to Manchester City on December 3, having also started the shock 3-1 home loss to Sunderland in the EFL Cup in August.

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The 29-year-old said it was "time to get my career back on track" when he signed a deal with Burnley that expires on January 6.

"It was a bit of a complicated time at Chelsea, but I see this as a positive move and I'm looking forward to getting going," he said.

However, Drinkwater struggled to break into Dyche's first-team plans and he suffered an ankle injury during an alleged altercation outside a Manchester nightclub in September, further curtailing his attempt to rejuvenate his career.

Dyche said of the situation: "He will go back, just for football reasons. I have a big respect for him and I like him as a player. He just hasn’t had the pitch time.

"He has been a credit to himself with his professionalism, apart from the incident. He has looked after himself and tried to be part of the group. He has just not had the game time that he needs.

"There was an incident that was unfortunate and cost a lot more time than we thought. My respect for him as high as a person and a player.

"It does heighten the need [for a replacement] but you have to have the players available, finance and all the things that align.

"It is even tougher in a window that is [already] tough. There are only so many targets that fit our model. There is nothing that is looking open to us."

Drinkwater played only 23 times for Chelsea after joining for a reported £35 million ($46m) from Leicester City, having helped the Foxes to their shock Premier League title triumph in 2015-16.

There are reports Aston Villa could make an attempt to sign him on loan for the remainder of the season.

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