Danny Drinkwater has revealed his relief at leaving Chelsea but says he is still "burning away" with the frustration of how his Stamford Bridge career panned out.

The former England international felt he was unfairly treated by the Blues, having made only 23 appearances in five years.

Drinkwater joined Chelsea in a reported £35million transfer in 2017, moving on from Leicester City 12 months after winning the Premier League title.

The midfielder was reunited with former Leicester team-mate N'Golo Kante but did not enjoy anything like the same success in London.

"I'm relieved, firstly, because it's not hard to see that it definitely wasn't ideal for me," Drinkwater told Sky Sports. "It didn't benefit the club.

"I'm angry because of how it's gone, how I was treated. I'm not bitter about it, because you can look back and say what ifs and [have hindsight], which is obviously huge. I think it was just a long time coming."

Drinkwater, who, at 32, does not plan to retire, said he "did too much too soon" to rush back from injury in his first season at Chelsea, leading to a setback.

He was then left out of the Chelsea squad the following year, which was "not expected at all".

Drinkwater acknowledged his role on the fringes initially "had its benefits, I was loving it" but "living the life lasts for about two weeks".

After a number of off-field issues, including deaths in the family and a drink-driving offence, the Manchester United academy graduate felt "lost".

He did not play another competitive game for Chelsea's first team, but a successful loan move to Reading last season – after difficult spells at Burnley and Aston Villa – allowed him to see out the final months of his five-year contract.

Drinkwater added: "If you stayed at Leicester, if you didn't get injured, if the club treated you differently, if... they're all ifs.

"It's frustrating, 100 per cent. Don't think I've not been burnt, or I'm still not burning away because of how it's gone.

"I do kick myself from it. But am I going to keep kicking myself? I can't change it."

Chelsea have confirmed that defender Andreas Christensen will leave the club at the end of his contract later this month.

The Denmark international has been linked with a move to Barcelona, and the writing appeared to be on the wall when he recently ruled himself out of Chelsea's FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool for "private" reasons.

The Premier League side have also confirmed the imminent departures of Danny Drinkwater, Charly Musonda and Jake Clarke-Salter, in addition to Antonio Rudiger who had already been announced to be signing for Real Madrid at the start of next month.

Christensen joined Chelsea as a youth player from Brondby in 2012, before spending two seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.

He made 161 appearances for the Blues, winning the Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in his time at Stamford Bridge.

Drinkwater also leaves Chelsea after an underwhelming five years at the club, having signed for a reported £35million in 2017 from Leicester City.

The midfielder made just 23 appearances in all, while also being sent on loan moves to Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa and Reading.

Frank Lampard understands Fikayo Tomori's desire to play more regularly amid speculation the centre-back could be set to follow Danny Drinkwater in sealing a move away from the club. 

Tomori made 15 Premier League starts in the 2019-20 season but the arrival of Thiago Silva has pushed him further down the first-team pecking order. 

The England international has featured only once in the top flight this campaign – coming on as substitute in the home defeat to Liverpool back in September – and Chelsea are seemingly ready to sanction a temporary move to allow him to get more regular first-team minutes elsewhere. 

Serie A leaders Milan have been strongly linked with the 23-year-old, media reports suggesting the Italian club are pushing to complete a deal that includes an option to buy. 

"Fikayo is a developing player. We can't play all our centre backs in one game," said Lampard. 

"This year we have five, so the predicament is difficult. He wants to play regularly and that's why he may go out on loan.  

"He has made big strides in the last two or three seasons." 

Meanwhile, Drinkwater has departed to join Kasimpasa on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. 

The midfielder was signed by the Blues from Leicester City in August 2017, though he has featured sparingly during his time at Stamford Bridge. 

A key part of Claudio Ranieri's Leicester squad that won the league title in 2016, Drinkwater has made a total of 23 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. 

His 2019-20 season included unproductive loan spells at Burnley and Aston Villa, but now the 30-year-old will hope to kick-start his career during a temporary stint in Turkey. 

"It's great for Danny to leave to go and play for himself to get some games. I am trying to make sure the balance is right here," said Lampard. 

Kasimpasa sit 15th in the Super Lig table, six points above the relegation zone.

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