This summer we got to experience #POGBACK as Manchester United paid £89m to bring their former player Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford, could we see something similar happen this summer? #Drinkback? If rumours are to be believed then Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing back former United and current Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater for a fee rumoured to be upwards of £20 million. Last season Drinkwater played a pivotal part in Leicester’s title-winning campaign, linking attack from defence spectacularly and has developed his game to become one of the better central midfielders in the league. Drinkwater played 35 out of the 38 league games in the 2015/16 season with a passing accuracy rate of 78%, seven assists and an average of four defensive actions per game (Squawka). This season hasn’t kicked off as last season ended for Leicester with them sitting 12th in the table after seven games having only won twice, the absence of N’Golo Kante seems to be crippling them this season and if they don’t finish strongly, big players like Drinkwater might be tempted to leave.
“He’s a very good player. Box to box and defends very well. Everything he does is very good.” Claudio Ranieri
“What he’s done has been pretty evident to everybody. He’s had a fantastic season in a team that’s having a fantastic season, but even last year we were aware of him.” Roy Hodgson pre Euro 2016
It’s been no secret that United have struggled in the middle of the park in the last few seasons and even with the addition of Paul Pogba, they’ve struggled to create from midfield and also stop the opposition breaking through in defence. However, with Mourinho’s decision to drop Wayne Rooney and play 4-3-3, United look more composed as they showed against Drinkwater and Leicester on Saturday when they dominated the game and won 4-1. Ander Herrera looks so composed alongside Pogba and with Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin waiting in the wings, both playing fantastically in the EFL cup. With Carrick likely in his last season at Old Trafford, Morgan Schneiderlin needs to step up and take the defensive role seriously when he is given the chance. According to a story in The Mirror, Claudio Ranieri and Leicester want Morgan Schneiderlin to make the switch to the King Power if Drinkwater is going to head the other way. Schneiderlin proved himself a quality player at Southampton before making the switch to United under Louis Van Gaal and like a few other players didn’t really get the extended run to prove himself but showed small glimpses of his true potential. It’s now down to whether Mourinho fancies giving him a chance or wants him shipped out.
Would Drinkwater fit into this United team? I’m not so sure. Ander Herrera has been class whenever he’s played, his attitude is incredible and is a massive fan favourite. Paul Pogba is the future of the club, at 23 years old he is already a world-class player and has the potential be one of the best the Premier League has ever seen. Juan Mata plays as the number 10 in the current side and was excellent against Leicester and Mourinho has shown faith in the Spaniard even with their potentially fragile history.
Drinkwater is an excellent player, plays as a number six not as a ten so it’s whether Mourinho rates Drinkwater above Herrera or Pogba. I can’t see it. If he came back to United he would be a backup to Pogba and Herrera or a rotation player for the European and cup games. Only time will tell if this rumour turns into the truth or not but potentially £10-15m and Schneiderlin for Drinkwater seems too much especially for a non-starter.
Would you welcome Danny Drinkwater back at United? Let us know in the comments.