How good is Saúl Ñíguez, Chelsea new signing?

Saul Niguez

Chelsea has moved on from the disappointment in failing to land Jules Kounde from Sevilla by agreeing on a loan deal with Atletico Madrid. This deal will bring Saúl Ñíguez to Stamford Bridge and ends his ten years association at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

According to the report by Fabricio Romano, Chelsea finally agreed to a €5 million loan deal with Atletico Madrid after a very lengthy and difficult negotiation. He has since signed for Chelsea on loan with an option to make it permanent for £30 million.

The 26-year-old Spain international midfielder started his career as a youth player at Real Madrid before switching to their city rival, Atletico Madrid. He stayed most of his career there, only leaving for a loan to Rayo Vallecano for the 2013/2014 season.

Saúl Ñíguez became a mainstay in the Diego Simeone side as they won the UEFA Europa League in the 2017/18 season, and also made the Champions League Final narrowly missing to Real Madrid twice within that period. He played a lesser role in Atletico Madrid Europa League triumph early in his career in 2012.

Atletico Madrid will win the La Liga in 2020/21 after piping their rival, Real Madrid to the title. But he has lost his guaranteed starting berth. He will still make 33 appearances but only started in 22 of them.

Saúl Ñíguez has made 447 appearances for Atletico Madrid and produced a healthy return of 53 goals in all completions across that period.

What Saul Niguez will bring to Chelsea

Saul Niguez is an all-action box-to-box midfielder. He is a left-footed hard-working player with good positional play. He also times his runs into the box to score goals.

The 16 times capped Spain International is a versatile player. At Atletico Madrid, he was used in up to seven roles. In Diego Simone’s preferred 4-4-2 formation, he can play in the center or left or right side of the midfield. He has even deputized as a center-back.

He formed a formidable midfield partnership with Koke and Gabi. He covers enough ground and is physically built. He has the defensive capability to break up plays and also carries the ball forward to release his teammates.

He will bring more goal threats to a Chelsea midfield that lacks genuine goal threats. None of the current Chelsea midfielders are good goalscorers. At Atletico Madrid, he was their highest goalscoring midfielder.

Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic are Chelsea’s major options in the midfield. Chelsea can be considered to be lightweight in that position especially with Kante facing series of injuries lately. His addition gives Chelsea both strength in depth and a reliable option in the center.

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