Things could’ve been very different for one particular Chelsea star, who once again finds himself out on loan for the season.
Thomas Tuchel, like Frank Lampard before him, clearly isn’t impressed by what Danny Drinkwater has to offer, and now in the final year of his Blues contract, the ex-Leicester City man knows that he needs to move on if he’s to resurrect what’s left of his career.
Like too many before him, it seems that once Drinkwater got the big money move to the west Londoners he lost focus and subsequently his form.
That in turn led to off-field issues and Drinkwater has never recovered from the downward spiral.
“Can I paint a picture? No. It’s been a shambles,” he told talkSPORT after his first game for new loan club, Reading, at the weekend.
“It’s football, it’s never straightforward, it’s never simple. I’m just excited for the new challenges.
“I need to [kick-start my career]. I’m more excited about this than I have been for a few years now, especially how my career’s panned out.
“Games, getting the enjoyment of football back, then going from there. A few have slid away, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve not played.
“I’m in the last year of my contract, so there’s more than just football riding on it. I’ve got other things.
“I’m desperate for games, I know my position and I know it’s not what I’ve expected for ten years.
“So I’ve got to make changes and I’m making the right steps.
” I’ve just got to keep in contact with the manager, trust each other and trust the team. Hopefully they trust me and we can build on that.”
It sounds as if Drinkwater is trying to convince himself as much as anyone else.
He had the world at his feet and threw it all away. Are any other top-flight clubs really going to be interested in what he has to offer now?