New Chelsea signing Saul Niguez says he is hoping for a quick adjustment to life in London and has already asked compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga to only speak to him in English.
The midfielder made a deadline day switch to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid in a loan deal that could become permanent at the end of the season.
Saul, 26, says he always wanted to experience playing in the Premier League and hopes to pick up the language as quickly as possible.
“I’ve spent 15 years at Atletico Madrid, it’s my home. Then, when the opportunity to join Chelsea came up, I couldn’t turn it down,” he told the club’s website.
“The last day of the transfer window was crazy but in the end I could come here, as we all were hoping, so I have to seize this chance. Since I was a child, I always had two goals – to make history at Atletico Madrid and to play in the Premier League, not only because of the league itself but also for its culture and the language.
“The language is a big challenge for me and I want to learn it as soon as possible in order to be able to communicate with my team-mates simply and comfortably. At Atletico I used to speak with [Kieran] Trippier but my English isn’t good enough. I don’t even dare to do interviews in English!
“It’s really important [having Spanish players around]. Having [Cesar] Azpilicueta, Marcos [Alonso] and Kepa, especially Kepa, who has shared a room with me since we started playing for the Spanish national youth team.
“I already told Kepa to speak to me in English because I need to learn and get used to it. I don’t want to speak in Spanish with them. He can help me, but I’ll try to speak to him in English as much as I can, unless I’m really struggling.”
Saul has been assigned a familiar number in the Chelsea squad. The club announced on Thursday that he will wear the No 17 jersey for the Blues.
It is the number he was given early in his senior career at Atletico Madrid and wore it for two years before switching to No 8.