Antonio Conte sends clear Chelsea message to Danny Drinkwater

Antonio Conte has praised Danny Drinkwater for his recent solid performances for Chelsea.

The England midfielder has been getting used to life at Stamford Bridge after signing for the Blues from Leicester City in the summer transfer window.

Drinkwater missed the first few weeks of the season due to injury but is now fully fit as he bids to try and hold down a regular spot in the first team at Stamford Bridge.

The 27-year-old has only started two Premier League games so far this season but he played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.

The midfielder will now be aiming to prove himself as being ready to hold down a regular starting spot in the first team in the coming weeks and months for the Blues, as the hectic festive period looms large.

And Conte was delighted by Drinkwater’s display for Chelsea despite making a slow start during the win over Newcastle last weekend.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Conte said: “Today [against Newcastle] he started the game like the team, a bit slow, but then improved a lot.

“It’s great for me and the team to have another option, especially when we play with three midfielders.

“To have another option is vitally important.”

Chelsea are now preparing for their Premier League trip to West Ham United on Saturday lunchtime as they look to try and keep pace with the Manchester clubs at the top of the table.

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