The midfielder becomes the second Chelsea player to move to the Royals for the current campaign, alongside left-back Baba Rahman. Reading have three points from their opening five matches of the Championship season, having narrowly missed out on the play-offs in 2020/21.
It is a return to English football for Drinkwater, who spent last term in Turkey with Kasimpasa after previous loan spells at Burnley and Aston Villa.
Drinkwater has been with Chelsea since the summer of 2017, when he signed from Leicester City, where he had won the Premier League title playing alongside N’Golo Kante. His Blues debut came in a 2-1 League Cup win over Everton and was followed by a succession of substitute appearances, and starts in an important draw at Liverpool and impressive win over Newcastle United.
His first goal for the club came in our last fixture of 2017, a fine effort as we thrashed Stoke City 5-0 at Stamford Bridge. In the second half of the campaign, as well as featuring in a 1-1 home draw with Barcelona in the Champions League, he started the first four of our seven FA Cup matches along the way to lifting the trophy at Wembley.
In total, Drinkwater has made 23 appearances for Chelsea, scoring that solitary goal, with his most recent competitive match for us coming in the 2018 Community Shield.