Report: Saul Loaned to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2021

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 22: Saul Niguez of Atletico de Madrid reacts during the La Liga Santander match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Elche CF at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on August 22, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The defending European champions just keep getting stronger. 

Chelsea reportedly have agreed to add Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on a €5 million ($5.9 million) loan, per Fabrizio Romano of The Guardian. Per Matt Law of The Telegraph, the London side are hopeful of completing the loan move with an option to buy after the season. 

Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh

Chelsea paying €4m loan fee for Saul Niguez and they will have €35m option to buy. Player is not flying to London tonight. Player, Chelsea and Atletico all in agreement. All working hard to make sure deal is done by tonight's deadline.

Saul, 26, is a talented box-to-box midfielder but one who perhaps fell down Diego Simeone's depth chart after Atletico added the talented Rodrigo de Paul on a  €35 million ($41 million) transfer this summer. 

Saul appeared in 33 games for the La Liga champions last season (22 starts), registering two goals and an assist. His 6.76 average match rating from WhoScored.com in league play ranked just 12th among Atletico players who made 20 or more appearances, however. 

He'll bring versatility to Chelsea's midfield, having been utilized as everything from a defensive midfielder and occasional defender at Atletico to the occasional forward or wing-back. But a box-to-box role is his sweet spot. 


Throwback to when Saul Niguez scored one of the best Champions League goals ever against Bayern Munich 🤯 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChampionsLeague</a>)<a href="https://t.co/3992GeJxwW">pic.twitter.com/3992GeJxwW</a>

Chelsea's top options in central midfield are N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, with Mateo Kovacic providing depth and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ethan Ampadu and Trevoh Chalobah available in a pinch. 

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Saul loan signing is the perfect solution for Chelsea. Top quality midfield options for the season and all options open for next summer. Lukaku + Saul = great window <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cfc?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cfc</a>

Few teams in world football can boast central midfield depth like Thomas Tuchel will now have with Kante, Jorginho, Saul and Kovacic at his disposal. Few clubs are as stacked as Chelsea, period. 

Anything less than a Premier League title or a second successive UCL conquest will be seen as a disappointment at Stamford Bridge this season.