Claudio Ranieri tasted defeat for the first time as Fulham manager against former club Chelsea.
The Italian guided the Cottagers to victory in his first game after replacing Slavisa Jokanovic, but the promoted side were no match for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea. The London side performed admirably but were unable to break Chelsea’s defence. Goals from Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek either side of half-time was enough to secure all three points for Sarri’s men.
The former Napoli boss admitted after the game that he believed his countryman would do a fine job once settled into his new role. Fulham looked dangerous at times but ultimately were unable to sustain a lasting period of pressure against their rivals. Nevertheless, the January transfer window is fast approaching, giving Ranieri the opportunity to bolster his ranks.
One man who should be on his wish list is Chelsea outcast – Danny Drinkwater. Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, Ranieri knows all about the Englishman after the pair worked together at Leicester City. Drinkwater was an integral part of the Foxes team that lifted the Premier League title, his fantastic range of passing combined perfectly with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. His performances saw him join the Blues for £35m, but the 28-year-old has failed to break into the first-team at Stamford Bridge. A January exit is looking increasingly likely for the midfielder who doesn’t feature in Sarri’s plans.
Drinkwater should have no issues adapting to Ranieri’s methods at Craven Cottage and will be desperate to get playing first-team football again. Under a manager who believes in his ability, there is no reason why the Englishman can’t rediscover his form of 2016. Alongside N’Golo Kante, Drinkwater excelled meaning he would be the ideal partner for Jean Michel Seri in the engine room.
This move should be a no-brainer for the Italian.
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