The Saul Niguez verdict from La Liga expert that will excite Chelsea fans ahead of transfer

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Chelsea have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid for the services of Saul Niguez on a season-long loan despite protracted negotiations that looked to have hampered a deal as recently as this morning.

The Blues will be paying a £3.4m loan fee with an option to buy valued at £30m for the 26-year-old midfielder.

Saul, who fell out of favour under Diego Simeone last season, will not be travelling to London this evening but the two clubs are in agreement and are working together to ensure a deal is wrapped up before the transfer deadline slams shut.

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The Spain international joined Atletico in 2008 from Real Madrid as a U17 player before going on to make 340 appearances for the Spanish side, winning two Europa League titles, the UEFA Super Cup, Copa Del Rey, Supercopa de España before concluding his time at the Wanda Metropolitano winning La Liga last season.

Anita Abayomi and Scott Clayton, who are part of our Chelsea Fan Brands team at football.london, spoke to Alex Brotherton, a Manchester City writer and La Liga specialist, live on the CarefreeChelsea show via football.london’sChelsea Facebook page to discuss the Blues’ newest arrival, Saul, as they raved and revelled about what the Spaniard will bring to the Bridge.

Brotherton kicked off the discussion by claiming that Blues fans should not take Saul’s final season under Simeone at face value after the midfielder struggled to acclimatise to a new system and instead insisted that Chelsea fans have a lot to look forward to.

“If you want to see the best of Saul Niguez, last season isn’t the best season to judge him by,” he began, alluding to the reasons behind Saul’s desire to leave.

“He didn’t start as much as he has done in previous seasons and he has been unsettled at Atletico for more than a year now.

“He hasn’t played much in his preferred role this season and actually started the season as a left-wing-back.”

Brotherton detailed Saul’s key attributes and key strengths, highlighting how the midfielder can plug holes for Thomas Tuchel during what will be a season where the Blues will play twice a week most weeks.

Chelsea will be participating in the FIFA Club World Cup following the side’s Champions League triumph last season in addition to their Premier League title challenge, trying to retain their European crown and compete in the domestic competitions, highlighting the significance of Saul’s arrival.

“He is a very versatile player, primarily a midfield player which is of course why Chelsea are bringing him in,” Brotherton added.

Brotherton continued by speaking on Saul’s tenacity and hunger in midfield, using words that will be familiar to Chelsea fans when discussing their midfield titan N’Golo Kante.

“He is a fantastic footballer, really easy on the eye but he does have an industrious side to him,” he said.

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“Saul can do anything in midfield: whether it’s run down the wing, mop up in midfield or support the forward. He will bring a lot to this Chelsea side.”

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