Former England midfielder Danny Drinkwater has announced his retirement from professional football after feeling 'in limbo too long' following his release from Chelsea last year. The 33-year-old, who won the Premier League title with Leicester City, played a bit-part role at Chelsea and decided it was time to hang up his boots. Drinkwater revealed his retirement on the High Performance Podcast, stating that while he had been in limbo for a while, he had not felt valued playing at a lower level.
Despite coming through the academy at Manchester United, Drinkwater did not make a senior appearance for the club and had loan spells to clubs such as Huddersfield and Cardiff. However, his career took off when he joined Leicester in 2012, helping them secure promotion to the Premier League. Drinkwater played a significant role in Leicester's remarkable title-winning season under Claudio Ranieri in 2015-16.
Although he earned three England caps, including a friendly match against the Netherlands in 2016, Drinkwater did not make the squad for the European Championship that year. After one more season at Leicester, he signed for Chelsea for £35 million but struggled to establish himself due to injuries. Subsequent loan spells took him to Burnley, Aston Villa, Turkish club Kasimpasa, and Reading.
Despite posting pictures of himself training in Dubai recently, Drinkwater has now decided to call time on his career. His retirement comes after receiving offers from Championship clubs, which he admitted did not ignite any passion within him. He expressed gratitude for his footballing journey but acknowledged that it was not an easy decision to make.
Danny Drinkwater's retirement marks the end of a career that saw him experience enormous success with Leicester City but struggle to replicate that form at Chelsea. While his decision may come as a surprise to some, it reflects the challenges he faced in finding opportunities and feeling valued as a player. The footballing world bids farewell to a player who gave his all on the pitch but has now chosen a new path outside the professional game.