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Chelsea midfielder Drinkwater completes loan move to Aston Villa

12:13 GMT 07/01/2020
Danny Drinkwater Burnley
The 29-year-old will join up with Dean Smith's side until the end of the season following a difficult six-month spell at Burnley

Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater has completed a loan move to Aston Villa for the remainder of the season.

Drinkwater spent the first half of the 2019-20 campaign at Turf Moor and went on to appear in just two matches for Burnley amid persistent fitness issues.

The 29-year-old managed less than an hour of playing time in the Premier League for Sean Dyche's side, and had to recover from an ankle injury which he sustained after being attacked by a gang outside of a Manchester nightclub.

He has been on Chelsea's books since leaving Leicester for £40 million ($53m) in 2017, but hasn't been able to establish himself as a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge.

Drinkwater helped the Foxes win the Premier League title in 2016, but he has only featured in 12 matches in the competition for Chelsea and doesn't appear to be in Frank Lampard's future plans.

The former England international will now try to help Villa maintain their top-flight status, with Dean Smith adding extra quality to his midfield ranks after losing John McGinn to an ankle injury.

Smith told Villa's official website of Drinkwater's arrival: “Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title-winning team and has represented England so he is a vastly experienced player.

“He will strengthen our squad significantly.”

Drinkwater will not be eligible to play for Villa in their Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Leicester on Wednesday, having already played in the competition this season for Burnley.

The Chelsea outcast will be in contention to make his debut on Sunday, with Villa set to play host to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

Villa are 17th in the top-flight standings at the moment, with just six wins recorded from their opening 21 fixtures.

Smith's side are only one point above the drop zone, but recent wins against Norwich and Burnley have lifted the mood surrounding the club.

Villa were, however, brought back down to earth with a 2-1 defeat to Fulham in an FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday, during which they were outplayed by the Championship club.

After their clash with City this weekend, Villa will look ahead to a trip to the AMEX Stadium to face Brighton on January 18.

A home fixture against Watford is on the cards three days later, before the Villans wrap up their schedule for the month with the second leg of their League Cup tie with Leicester.