Danny Drinkwater: Aston Villa loan Chelsea midfielder

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith explains why he signed Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater on loan until the end of the season

Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater has completed a loan move to Aston Villa until the end of the season.

Drinkwater spent the first half of the season on loan at Burnley, but that expired on January 6 and he has now joined Villa after Chelsea agreed to continue to pay a significant proportion of his wages.

He will not play against his old club Leicester in Wednesday's Sky Live Carabao Cup semi-final as he is cup-tied.

Drinkwater's first game in a Villa shirt could be Sunday's match at home to the champions, Manchester City, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League.

Drinkwater was a key member of Leicester's title winning side in 2016
Image: Drinkwater was a key member of Leicester's title winning side in 2016

Villa boss Dean Smith said: "Danny was a key member of Leicester City's title-winning team and has represented England, so he is a vastly experienced player. He will strengthen our squad significantly.

"I saw the hunger in his eyes and he's got a lot to go and prove now. He's going to be in an environment where he can flourish, he's very hungry and I like that. There's a similarity with when we brought Tyrone Mings in last season.

"It's an opportunity for both of us. We've all seen his quality, he just hasn't had the pitch time to show it in the past two years."

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Drinkwater managed less than an hour playing time in the Premier League after joining Burnley in the summer, and an injured ankle meant he missed several weeks of football in September after being attacked by a gang of men outside a Manchester nightclub.

Villa are confident Drinkwater is fit and ready to go straight into the first team, to deputise for John McGinn who is out until March with an ankle injury.

Drinkwater was a key member of Leicester's Premier League-winning side in 2015-16 before moving to Chelsea for £35m in September 2017.

How to follow the January transfer window

Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.

Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.

Meanwhile, the Transfer Talk podcast will also be back at the turn of the year with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.

And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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