Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
Villa announced the news via their official Twitter account on Tuesday:
Drinkwater spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Burnley, but he made just two appearances for the club in all competitions.
The 29-year-old had played just once for the Clarets, against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup on August 28, before he suffered an ankle injury in September when he was attacked by six men outside a Manchester nightclub.
He only made one more appearance for Burnley, when he played 59 minutes in their 4-1 Premier League defeat to Manchester City on December 3.
Chelsea signed Drinkwater for £35 million in 2017, a year after he had played an important role in Leicester City’s sensational Premier League title win.
The Englishman had partnered N’Golo Kante—who also moved to Stamford Bridge—in midfield for the Foxes and developed great chemistry with striker Jamie Vardy, whose runs he excelled in anticipating.
He failed to find his feet with the Blues, though. Drinkwater made 22 appearances under Antonio Conte in his first season at the club that was hampered by calf injuries at both ends of the campaign.
Last season, he only got on the pitch once under Maurizio Sarri: a 30-minute cameo in the Community Shield.