Danny Drinkwater’s bid to revive his flagging career has seen him move on loan on Tuesday to Premier League strugglers Aston Villa from Chelsea for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old midfielder – capped three times by England – moves there after an unsuccessful loan spell with Burnley, for whom he made just two appearances since joining them at the beginning of the season.
His career has taken a downward spiral since he moved from Leicester to Chelsea for £35 million in 2017 playing just 12 times in all competitions.
However, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith believes Drinkwater can recapture the form that made him such a pivotal figure in Leicester’s fairytale 2016 Premier League title win.
“Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title-winning team and has represented England, so he is a vastly experienced player,” said Smith.
“He will strengthen our squad significantly.”
Drinkwater – whose first test may come when fourth from bottom Villa host defending champions Manchester City on Sunday – has had his problems off the field too.
He was banned from driving for 20 months last year after being found to be 2 1/2 times over the legal alcohol limit when he crashed his car in April.
Drinkwater was sidelined for a stint earlier this season after suffering ankle ligament damage in September during an incident at a Manchester nightclub.