Danny Drinkwater has spoken of his gratitude towards Leicester after leaving the club for Chelsea on deadline day.
The 27-year-old joined the Blues for £35m after five years with the Foxes, during which he won a Premier League title and played in the Champions League.
He has looked back on what he described as an “unbelievable” period of his career, before he turns his attention towards a new challenge at Chelsea.
“It’s been a great five years in my life,” Drinkwater told LCFC. “When I got to Leicester, I was 21, had hit a ceiling at United and needed a fresh start to get my career going.
“Leicester gave me that and a lot more. I’ll always be grateful to the owners, the fans, my teammates and all the staff that have come and gone over the last five years.
“To achieve what we did together was unbelievable. It’ll stay with me forever. It wasn’t always a smooth ride for me either, I had some ups and downs early on, but people stuck by me and I’ll never forget that.
“It was hard decision to leave, but it felt like the time was right. When you get a taste for what we achieved together, it’s addictive, you want to experience it as much as you can and this felt like my chance to chase that.
“You don’t know when an opportunity like that might come along again, so for me I had to take it.”
On the miraculous Premier League title victory under Claudio Ranieri, Drinkwater added: “It was magic.
“But it was no fluke, we deserved every point we won. We were the best, most consistent, most united team in the league and teams couldn’t live with us.
“Together with the fans, we rode the momentum for such a long time that it just made our spirit unbreakable and, once the title was in sight, we wanted it more than anyone else. There was no stopping us.
“We carried that on into the Champions League and just went at it with no fear. We did ourselves proud and had things gone our way a bit more against Atlético, we could have gone further.
“I’m not sure any of us could really appreciate at the time what an impact those two seasons had on people.”
Drinkwater must now focus on a very different test at Stamford Bridge, where he is likely to face more competition for his midfield place.
“I’ve made the jump to change clubs now, so I’ve got to make it count,” he said. “It’s another challenge I’ve got to respond to and make sure it results in trophies for my new club.
“I’ll always have a lot to be grateful to Leicester for and the fans will always have my respect. It was some ride and I really wish everyone at the club every success in the future.”