Danny Drinkwater has apologized to Chelsea fans for a “business decision gone wrong” as he confirmed the end of his five years at Stamford Bridge.
Drinkwater’s loan spell at Reading ended last week, and the 32-year-old has also announced his official departure from Chelsea.
The former England midfielder joined the Blues from Leicester for £35million in 2017 but failed to make a significant impact at Stamford Bridge.
From injury gluts to off-field issues, Drinkwater never managed to warm up to his task in west London.
The former Manchester United trainee helped Leicester win the league in 2015 but now finds himself a free agent, after four loans in three years to end his spell at Chelsea.
“My time at Chelsea is over, it’s really strange writing this,” Drinkwater posted on Instagram.
“I, the club and the fans are extremely disappointed, there’s no doubt about that.
“The injuries, the way I was treated, the mistakes I made, the problems off the pitch, the lack of playing time; the list of excuses could be endless but I wouldn’t and can’t not change what happened.
“Football is a fantastic sport, but for both parties it was a business decision gone wrong, it’s as black and white as that.
“To the Chelsea fans, I apologize for how this happened.
“I wish you could see me at my best in this shirt doing what I love.”
Drinkwater was banned from driving for 20 months in 2019 after an accident while exceeding the drink-driving limit.
Later that year, he was caught up in an altercation at a nightclub and has been fighting to rebuild his career ever since.
“I’m going to look at the positives over the last five years,” Drinkwater said.
“I’ve played with great players, coached by awesome managers, worked with brilliant staff, met fantastic people, lived in beautiful places, traveled the world and won even more silverware.”