When Frank Lampard first arrived at Chelsea he said that he hadn’t come into the job looking to freeze anyone out. After dropping both Bakayoko and Drinkwater from the squad in the previous pre season game against RB Leipzig he exclaimed that the door has not shut on anyone. But for the last pre season game today against Borussia Monchengladbach they have both been left out again surely indicating neither are a part of Lampard’s plans for the upcoming season.
Chelsea currently have Jorginho, N’golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and the promising Billy Gilmour competing for midfield spaces so clearly the squad needs to be cut and recent squad selections definitely indicate Lampard’s choice has been made.
Bakayoko did impress last season on loan at AC Milan but opted not to stay for reasons such as racism and a fall out with the manager. PSG were rumoured to be interested but that story has gone dry following their signing of Idrissa Gueye. There would not be a lack of interest in the Frenchman but his demand for a club with Champions League football is likely to make it difficult for Chelsea to sell him. There have also been links with Everton but nothing concrete.
There will always be the feeling amongst Chelsea supporters that Danny Drinkwater was a panic buy and after an underwhelming first season playing for Antonio Conte the midfielder did not play a single minute of competitive football under Maurizio Sarri last season. The Englishmen could definitely play for certain teams in the Premier League but his £100,000+ per week wages are a big stumbling block and if he wants to play he will have to take a significant wage cut. Due to his unlikeliness to want to play outside England Chelsea will have to find a buyer before next Thursday at 17:00 as this is when the Premier League transfer window slams shut. Assuming this doesn’t happen, it will be another long, disappointing but well paid season for Danny Drinkwater.
By Joe Martin