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Dyche backs fit-again Drinkwater but Burnley future unclear

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By Reuters
Dyche backs fit-again Drinkwater but Burnley future unclear
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v Burnley - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - November 2, 2019 Burnley manager Sean Dyche REUTERS/Jon Super   -   Copyright  JON SUPER(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Burnley manager Sean Dyche said he has not decided about signing Danny Drinkwater permanently with the midfielder’s injury-hit loan spell set to end in the New Year.

The 29-year-old joined Burnley on a six-month loan deal from Chelsea in August but has not featured for them in the Premier League after damaging his ankle ligaments in an altercation outside a nightclub.

Dyche said the England international is fit again ahead of Saturday’s league game against Crystal Palace but it was still too early to judge if he would stay on beyond his loan.

“We haven’t really seen him,” Dyche told reporters.

“Of course we know him, we know what he does in training… but it’s the games, everyone gets judged on the games, I think he’s just part of that thinking.

“So I think it’s too early to worry about that, we want to see him get fit first and get on the pitch at some point and then take it from there.”

Drinkwater was charged with drink driving in April while at his parent club Chelsea and then Blues boss Maurizio Sarri had said the midfielder had no future at the club as he was not suited to their style of play..

“There’s an element of him getting himself back on track. I’ve spoken about the bigger picture to him… he’s desperate to play, he’s working hard trying to get fit,” Dyche said.

“An incident has happened and he’s had to recover from that, but we’re not going to push someone who is not quite there and I wouldn’t force anything on any player here, whether they are on loan or under contract.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)