Chelsea

Antonio Conte defends under fire Chelsea midfielder

Danny Drinkwater

Summer arrival Danny Drinkwater very recently returned to the Chelsea first team setup after an injury break. The midfielder’s decision to reject a call-up to the England squad has been criticised.

Former Leicester City midfielder and current Blues man Danny Drinkwater rejected Gareth Southgate’s call-up to the England squad for recent friendlies against Germany and Brazil. The Englishman’s rejection was due to the fact that he felt a slight twinge in training after Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Drinkwater is yet to start a Premier League game this season, thanks to his calf problem which has hindered his role for the Blues so far this season. His manager Antonio Conte is unable to understand the criticism that Drinkwater is facing. The Italian boss further questioned Southgate as to why he didn’t inquire about Drinkwater’s availability before-hand.

Danny Drinkwater doesn’t deserve this says Conte

While speaking to Sky Sports about his midfielder’s situation, Conte spoke about how he felt the criticism is unfair on Drinkwater.

Conte said,”It’s a pity that a player had to pay for this misunderstanding, Drinkwater was very honest and he doesn’t deserve to be attacked from the press or from the people because he was very honest.”

Danny Drinkwater

Drinkwater is yet to play his first game in the League for the Blues.

Conte further praised Drinkwater’s honesty in rejecting the call-up and said,”In this situation, every single player wants to go with the national team. We have to appreciate his behavior and commitment.If someone asks me I can explain. Before, to call [up] the player, if you call the coach [you ask] ‘is this player good or does he have a problem? Is he tired or not?”.

The former Italy boss also suggested that the case with Drinkwater a misunderstanding. He said,”In this way, you can avoid a misunderstanding because, about Drinkwater, it was a misunderstanding. He was injured and also he wasn’t really 100 percent fit to go with the national team.”

Conte will hope that Drinkwater can get past the criticism and make a full return for the Blues from his injury troubles. The English midfielder was a vital part of Leicester’s magical title triumph and if he can bring some of that quality back, he is surely going to be a very good asset for the Blues.

 

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