OFFICIAL: Chelsea sign Atletico Madrid's Saul on loan

Robin Bairner
  • Robin Bairner
  • Updated: September 1, 2021, 00:53 CEST
  • 3 min read
Man Utd want Saul Niguez as Pogba replacement

Chelsea have secured the loan signing of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.

The Blues had made an additional midfielder a priority for their summer from the beginning of the window, with the likes of Declan Rice and Eduardo Camavinga before they settled on the versatile Saul.

The 26-year-old was a member of the Atletico Madrid squad that won La Liga last season and has been with the club since his days as a youth player, making close to 230 league appearances in that time.

Manchester United were also credited with an interest in the player over the course of the summer, but it is Chelsea who have won the day.

In a statement, Chelsea said: "We have completed the signing of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal with an option for a permanent transfer at the end of the season."

Saul added: "I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can’t wait to wear the shirt, start training and see all of you. See you soon!"

Why are Atleti letting Saul leave?

Saul has the potential to be one of the best pieces of business, with the midfielder having turned out 340 times for Atletico Madrid in all competitions, scoring 43 goals and laying on another 20.

He has, however, diminished in importance in the Spanish capital over the course of the last year. Although he featured 33 times for Atleti as they won La Liga last season, he was a substitute on 11 occasions, replaced on 11 more and played the full 90 minutes 11 times, though only three times after February.

Furthermore, Atleti’s move to sign Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese suggests that Saul is not as prominent in Diego Simeone’s thoughts as he once was.