Chelsea wrapped up their summer transfer window on deadline day with a late deal to sign Saul Niguez on loan for the remainder of the 2021/22 season.
The deal had been in the pipeline for a few days before finally being completed around 45 minutes past the 11pm deadline on Tuesday evening.
Saul has signed on a loan deal from Atletico Madrid until the end of the campaign, with the Blues having an option to buy the 26-year-old for around £30million next summer.
The Atleti star fell down the pecking order under Diego Simeone and wanted to move to play regular football and admitted that when the opportunity to move to west London came along, it was a chance he simply could not turn down.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website for his first full interview, here is a transcript of what Saul had to say.
What does it mean for you to be here?
“Well, I am so happy to be here. I had to take the chance to be here at Chelsea so I’m very happy and very excited.
“I’m really looking forward to training and, most importantly, to start working with my coach.”
It must have been a crazy few days for you?
“I’ve spent 15 years at Atletico Madrid, it’s my home. And then, when the opportunity to join Chelsea came up, I couldn’t turn it down.
“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.”
What excites you about this chance?
“Honestly, everything. 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!”
You have friends here already. How important is that?
“It’s really important. 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.
“But 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.”
How strong is this group that you’re joining?
“When a team wins the Champions League, you already know how strong they are, but when you face them, you realise how hard they work.
“They understand each other perfectly, you can see that by their results. I have joined the team to help, to try to improve the team and to win titles.
“I think the Premier League will be really beautiful this year, but I want to try to win it, and I think I am in the best team to do it.”
You won La Liga last year. How important is that winning mentality?
“It’s important because I won La Liga with Atletico Madrid after a hard year for me. Winning titles with Atletico is always special, but in the end, I’m always hungry for titles.
“You always want to win. I did it last year, but I want more and more this year.”
How excited are you about working with Thomas Tuchel?
“Very happy. Kepa always speaks really well about him. His teams always deliver and get great results.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing for me, personally. I’m really nervous, I’m looking forward to training with my new team-mates, despite the international break.
“I hope they are back soon. I’m looking forward to welcoming them, very excited.”
How would you describe yourself as a player?
“I am a team player. I always play for the team. I could define myself as a box-to-box midfielder. I like joining the attack and to score goals but also defending when needed.
“I think it’s really important in order for me to feel comfortable on the pitch and to deliver for Chelsea.
“About the fans, I am really grateful. I’ve received lots of positive messages from them.
“So thank you so much, I will give it (my) all for this club.”
What do you want to achieve in your time with Chelsea?
“Well, first of all, I want to learn English. It’s crucial for me, it’s the culture.
“Regarding the team, I just simply want to compete and help the club as much as possible. That’s the most important goal right now.”
Source by Football London