Premier League winner and England international Danny Drinkwater retires aged 33

'I think I've been in limbo for too long.'

Premier League winner and England international Danny Drinkwater retires aged 33
Manchester City v Chelsea - FA Community Shield
Danny Drinkwater has called time on his career (Picture: Getty Images)

Premier League winner and England international Danny Drinkwater has retired from football at just 33 years old.

The former Leicester City star has been without a club since being released by Chelsea last year and, despite offers to stay in the game, has decided to hang up his boots.

The midfielder, who won three caps for his country, was a big part of the Foxes team that won the Premier League in 2016 and moved to Stamford Bridge the following year, but his career went downhill from there.

There were loan moves to Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa and Reading, the last of which was the most successful, but proved to be the last stint in professional football for a man who began his career at Manchester United.

Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, Drinkwater said: ‘I’d just like to announce my retirement from professional football.

‘It’s probably been a long time coming, especially with the last year, but I think it’s time to officially announce it now.

‘I didn’t think it would bother me but saying it then it’s almost like scratching a nerve a bit. I think I’ve been ready for it, not stopping at my peak and it’s simmered down a bit, that’s helped the transition.

‘I think I’ve been in limbo for too long, I’ve either been wanting to play but not getting the opportunities to play at a level where I felt valued.

‘I just thought I’m restless here for no reason, I’m happy not playing football, but I’m happy playing football, so do I just shake hands with the sport? It’s all I’ve known, it’s been my life since I was six or seven, it was never going to be an easy thing.

‘I think the way it’s died down has definitely helped. If I was playing week in, week out and had to stop through injury or age I think it would be trickier.

Danny Drinkwater
Danny Drinkwater last played at Reading in the 2021/22 season (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’ve had quite a few offers from Championship clubs, but I never felt the burn, it did nothing for me.’

Speaking earlier this year, Drinkwater said he was ‘buzzing’ to find a new club, but did say then that it needed to be an exciting prospect.

‘I want to be excited about a project,’ he told SPORTbible. ‘I’m just waiting for something to excite me. I need that burning feeling again. I’m sat here, twiddling my thumbs. I’m just buzzing to get involved again.’

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