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Chelsea sign Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid

01/09/2021; 12:41 PM By : Steven D. Thompson

With Chelsea looking a bit thin in central midfield, Saul will bring depth to the squad.

Deadline day was a busy one for many clubs, including Chelsea. They were in the market for a defender and a midfielder. The club has, however, succeeded in bringing Saul Niguez to Stamford Bridge on loan.

After the early successful signing of Romelu Lukaku, the club wanted to bolster every other department in the team bar the goalkeeping position. Chelsea wanted to add Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Saul Niguez to their defence and midfield. They failed with the former though.

With Chelsea in various competitions, depth is needed in the squad to prosecute the season adequately.

Chelsea made several offers for the two players, but Sevilla and Atletico played hardball, insisting certain conditions be met. In the end, Atletico finally softened their stance.

Saul Niguez finally arrives at Chelsea

Saul Niguez was linked to Chelsea, but the club found Atletico a hard nut to crack. The Spanish side were in no hurry to make a deal and made things difficult for the London club.

Chelsea have made a coup in getting the player to the English capital. The Atletico Madrid manager Simeone describes Saul as a player with the qualities to be one of the world’s best midfielders. According to him, his work rate is high, has a good touch, good in the air, passing, pace, and rhythm.

Saul describes last season at Atleti as mediocre but arrives at Chelsea to add depth to a midfield that includes N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Saul joins Chelsea on a loan deal for around £4 million with a view to a permanent signing for £30 million.

Saul’s health issues

In 2015, Saul suffered a health challenge that put not only his career but his life at risk. The Spaniard put his life at risk when with kidney trauma and internal bleeding, he opted to play for Atletico.

In a 2015 UEFA Champions League match, Saul received an accidental kick to the stomach. The aggressor in the situation was Bayer Leverkusen defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Doctors described his kidney to be in horrible shape. While Saul wanted it removed to allow him to continue playing football, Doctors resisted him.

For two years, the 26-year-old had to wear a catheter to empty his bladder. The pain was unbearable, but Saul describes himself as a bull. He recovered to become one of Diego Simeone’s henchmen.

As per the Chelsea website, Chelseactor Marina Granovskaia describes him as a proven winner and that his experience is well-suited to what is ahead for the Blues in the coming year.

Saul, in 447 games for Atletico, has scored 53 goals and won the Europa League twice. He also won the Spanish La Liga last season.

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