Ex-Burnley, Leicester City & Chelsea midfielder announces early retirement at the age of 33

Former Burnley loanee Danny Drinkwater has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33.
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The midfielder hasn’t made an appearance since leaving Reading in the summer of 2022.

In an interview with the High Performance podcast, Drinkwater revealed now was the right time to hang up the boots to end the “limbo”.

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"It's probably been a long time coming, especially with the last year, but I think it's time to officially announce it now,” he said.

“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.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Danny Drinkwater of Burnley in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Danny Drinkwater of Burnley in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Danny Drinkwater of Burnley in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
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“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.

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

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Drinkwater came through the academy at Manchester United but never made a competitive outing for the Red Devils.

He did, however, spend time out on loan with Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley.

He made his name with Leicester City, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2014 before playing a prominent part in their miraculous title win two years later.

That earned Drinkwater a big money move to Chelsea, but it didn’t work out and he was eventually loaned out to Burnley during the 2019/20 season.

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He spent three months on the sidelines recovering from injuries sustained in an incident outside a Manchester nightclub.