Danny Drinkwater has apologised to Chelsea fans for failing to live up to expectations as he departs the club after five nightmare years.

Drinkwater joined the Stamford Bridge team in 2017 from Leicester City, a year after he played a fantastic role in the Foxes' surprise Premier League title success.

The midfielder could not replicate that form with the Blues, however, and was sent out on a series of loans to run down his contract. After spending the 2021-22 season in the Championship with Reading, he has now finally left Chelsea as a free agent.

Drinkwater’s midfield partnership with the outstanding N’Golo Kante was a factor in his exceptional play at Leicester City, but a number of factors, including injuries and poor form, contributed to his inability to build the same connection at Stamford Bridge. He spent time on loan at Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa, and Reading, but could never truly build himself back into a top tier Premier League player.

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What has Drinkwater said to Chelsea fans?

The three-time England international took to Instagram to express his disappointment over the way his Chelsea career has gone, complaining that injuries and the way he was treated at the club held him back.

“My time at Chelsea has come to an end… actually feels really strange writing this,” he wrote.

“Me, the club and fans are hugely disappointed with the outcome there is no doubt about that.

“Injuries, how I have been treated, mistakes I have made, issues of the pitch, lack of game time… the list of excuses could be endless but I would not and can not change what’s happened.

“I’m going to look at positives over the past five years, 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.

“Footballs 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 of loved for u to see me at my best in that shirt doing what I love.”

How many games did Drinkwater play for Chelsea?

Drinkwater managed just 23 appearances in all competitions at Chelsea, only 12 of which were in the Premier League.

The former Manchester United hopeful was loaned to Burnley at the start of his second season at Stamford Bridge but returned the following January.

He then ended up being sent on loan to Aston Villa and Turkish side Kasimpasa before joining Reading in August 2021.

Drinkwater played 33 games on loan at Reading as they finished 21st in the Championship table - just four points outside of the relegation zone.

Source: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/soccer/news/drinkwater-chelsea-departure-disappointment-five-years/ckhshj0gw7nxsgkwqygwbywr