Danny Drinkwater endures nightmare debut for Aston Villa v Manchester City

  • Rob Swan

Danny Drinkwater must wish he’d never left Leicester City for Chelsea back in 2017.

The England international played a key role in Leicester’s remarkable Premier League title triumph during the unforgettable 2015/16 campaign alongside fellow midfielder N’Golo Kante.

He went on to seal a £35 million move to Chelsea in the summer of 2017 – but this was the moment his career began to go into free-fall.

Drinkwater went on to make just 23 appearances for the Blues, scoring one goal.

Maurizio Sarri didn’t rate him at all and Drinkwater ended up making zero league appearances for Chelsea during the 2018-19 season. His one appearance came in the Community Shield against Manchester City.

Drinkwater then joined Burnley on loan in August 2019 and only played twice under Sean Dyche.

He also made headlines off the pitch for all the wrong reasons in 2019, the most serious incident resoling in a driving ban for drink-driving after ploughing his Range Rover through a wall while twice the legal drink-drive limit.

However, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has handed Drinkwater another opportunity to get his career back on track, signing the 28-year-old on loan until the end of the season.

But to say the first half of his debut against Manchester City on Sunday was a bit of a nightmare would be an understatement.

Drinkwater was at fault for both of Man City’s first two goals, both scored by his former Leicester teammate Riyad Mahrez, and was also partially to blame for Sergio Aguero’s goal shortly afterwards.

He was turned too easily by Mahrez for City’s first goal…


He then gave the ball away inside the Villa box for City’s second…


And he was turned by Kevin De Bruyne too easily for City’s third…

Dear oh dear.

City went on to score a fourth goal before half-time through Gabriel Jesus but, surprisingly, Drinkwater wasn’t to blame for that one.

Football fans on social media were left wondering where this ranks among the worst debuts ever seen…

It’s surely right up there.

Drinkwater was duly subbed off in the 79th minute after being dribbled past six times during the match.

City are currently 6-0 up at the time of writing – and for Drinkwater, the only way from here is up (surely).

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