Danny Drinkwater wasn't exactly known for his goals, but boy did he know how to score.
The Leicester Premier League title hero, who announced his retirement this week, claims he was pulling women left, right and centre during his miserable stint at Chelsea. Drinkwater joined the Blues for £35million in 2017, but played little more than a bit-part role for a season before dropping out of the first team picture completely in 2018.
In a bid to make his life a bit more interesting, he began sampling the nightlife in London and quickly developed a taste for it. "I was a single lad in London at the time so I was, without giving too much detail away, I was being a single lad in London, getting stuck into living in the city," Drinkwater said on the High Performance Podcast.
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"I was trying to enjoy that side of life as a kind of cover for everything else. That's what I'd use to enjoy myself because everything else is going pretty s****y. You look back now and I'd be going out drinking, getting with any bird that I can. It was just mad.
"You're waking up with a hangover and it's like f***, last night's happiness has disappeared and it's back to reality. It was just not me as a focused footballer."
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Drinkwater's spell at Chelsea took a turn for the unpleasant as problems in his private life began to mount. He crashed his car in a drunk driving accident in 2019, and had something of an epiphany while stewing for a day in a prison cell.
"That was a massive wake-up sign for me," he said. "I remember I was in the cell for 23 hours – they usually take two or three hours them things – sobering up and I'm in this cell thinking 'what the f*** are you doing, mate? This is not you at all. It's not you as a person, it's not how you want to be as a person. You need to get a hold of yourself here'. That's when I started seeking outside help with it all."
That said, subsequent stints away from Chelsea did little to stem the tide of Drinkwater's unravelling personal life. He got into a fight outside a nightclub while on loan at Burnley and tried to headbutt a team-mate in training during his loan spell at Aston Villa.
He eventually left Chelsea in 2022, having gone four years without making an appearance for the club. But after spending over a year looking for, and failing to, find a new club, he decided to call time on his career, aged 33.
The midfielder, who earned three caps for England, will be fondly remembered in Leicester circles, namely for partnering N'Golo Kante in their title-winning midfield during the 2015/16 season. He made over 200 appearances for the Foxes having moved there from Manchester United as a 21-year-old in 2011.
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