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Saul Niguez


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Previously heavily linked to Bayern, past few days have seen more and more rumours pop up we are looking to sign him.

Apparently Atletico will release him for less than his near 125mill release clause, though I would expect a deal to still be around 60-80mill.

Would signing Saul mean no Declan rice? Is he a solution to that problem?

Saul has been described as an amazing dribbler, is he enough of an upgrade on Kovacic to spend big money on?

If we only sign one midfielder and it is Saul, can he be an upgrade on jorgi or is he purely a rotation to Kova and Kante? Cause I can safely say he is not as good as the latter.

Thoughts on him? Anyone seen a fair bit of him?

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I've seen a fair bit of him over the years. I think he's an excellent player, a proper box-to-box midfielder who combines the best of both Kovacic and Jorginho with an actual goal threat. 

Saul actually plays a more similar role to Kante for Atletico, in that he's at his best when he's free to roam, press and hunt for the ball, with Thomas Partey being the defensive sponge. I'd imagine him to excite Tuchel as he could either cover or complement anyone in midfield.

The big question mark over him is recent form. Prior to 2020 he was legitimately one of the best midfielders on the planet but his form has mysteriously fallen off a cliff in recent times. He's also openly admitted he's lacking confidence and it's probably likely that 2020 has taken a huge toll on his mental health, which is understandable.

It might be such that a new challenge is the best option for him, but with some of the prices being bandied around I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

 

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1 hour ago, SydneyChelsea said:

I've seen a fair bit of him over the years. I think he's an excellent player, a proper box-to-box midfielder who combines the best of both Kovacic and Jorginho with an actual goal threat. 

Saul actually plays a more similar role to Kante for Atletico, in that he's at his best when he's free to roam, press and hunt for the ball, with Thomas Partey being the defensive sponge. I'd imagine him to excite Tuchel as he could either cover or complement anyone in midfield.

The big question mark over him is recent form. Prior to 2020 he was legitimately one of the best midfielders on the planet but his form has mysteriously fallen off a cliff in recent times. He's also openly admitted he's lacking confidence and it's probably likely that 2020 has taken a huge toll on his mental health, which is understandable.

It might be such that a new challenge is the best option for him, but with some of the prices being bandied around I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

 

Thanks for that. Sounds like a signing that could see us switch more to a 3 man midfield.

Though I believe a true midfield anchor should be the priority in midfield signings.

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7 hours ago, SydneyChelsea said:

I've seen a fair bit of him over the years. I think he's an excellent player, a proper box-to-box midfielder who combines the best of both Kovacic and Jorginho with an actual goal threat. 

Saul actually plays a more similar role to Kante for Atletico, in that he's at his best when he's free to roam, press and hunt for the ball, with Thomas Partey being the defensive sponge. I'd imagine him to excite Tuchel as he could either cover or complement anyone in midfield.

The big question mark over him is recent form. Prior to 2020 he was legitimately one of the best midfielders on the planet but his form has mysteriously fallen off a cliff in recent times. He's also openly admitted he's lacking confidence and it's probably likely that 2020 has taken a huge toll on his mental health, which is understandable.

It might be such that a new challenge is the best option for him, but with some of the prices being bandied around I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

It's a fair question SC. I think he is precisely the profile we are looking for in terms of that energy level but also with a much stronger passing game than he has ever been called upon to use for Atleti.

2020 I suspect was a very tough year on the Spanish footballers in particular and Saul seems to have been very involved around the COVID fight and recovery in Madrid. I think a change could be very good for him and if he comes at a reduced price as a result he could be a huge signing. 

A Kante, Saul midfield left and right footed combination, one pressing and one covering would be a thing of beauty.

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35 minutes ago, comtrend said:

I hope we don't go for him, not a good fit and he has been on the decline for a couple of years. 

He's 26? Had an ordinary season this season but has been great otherwise despite being shuffled around to fill holes in the Atleti lineup over the last 3 seasons.

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I think it is a very good point that  buying Saul Niguez would likely mean that we do not pursue Declan Rice and I had thought we might go for both.   Spanish football journalist Guillem Balagué stated that Saul suits several styles of play, citing his ability to play "Simeone style" (in reference to Atlético manager) and "Barcelona style", summing up with "We have never had a midfielder like this"

Personally, I would prefer Declan Rice as I have stated elsewhere on the forum, I can see him forming part of a "backbone" at Chelsea going forward.

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16 hours ago, Strider6003 said:

City offering a player exchange with Bernardo Silva. 

That is very surprising.  Few articles I read noted he wasn't happy in Manchester - can't blame him!! Jokes aside, probably impacted his form also.

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  • 1 month later...

If he's actually available for 40m EUR we'd be mad not to go for him. We've got 3 in-form CM options and are at worst in need of a back-up replacement for Billy, but at best could sign a monster of a player. Plus from all I've seen he should have the positional discipline to play a midfield 2, I believe he'd work in a 3-4-3. If we sign Kounde & Saul for 70m + a player, throw Broja in the mix and hope Timo finds his scoring boots that would be some very shewd business!

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On 28/07/2021 at 15:29, ozboy said:

Read he’s had/got injury issues. 

He has missed 7 games in the last 5 years, not exactly injury prone.

I think he's exactly the player we need, for half the cost of Rice. He can provide defensively just as well but has more to offer when progressing forwards. Him and Kanté would make an amazing double pivot. He`s experienced internationally and on the highest level, yet feels a current urge to prove himself (a rare combo).

If we end up signing Rice I'll be happy because I believe he's a good fit. But if we don't, missing out on Saul will be very frustrating. If I was Marina these 40-50m EUR would be a no-brainer for me, exactly the player we need.

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  • 3 weeks later...

https://www.thechelseachronicle.com/transfer-news/keeping-an-eye-romano-says-chelsea-could-yet-try-sign-35m-title-winner-who-loves-diego-costa/

Seems like we're still deliberating whether to sign him. Can't say I know too much about him tbh but considering we have got rid of some deadwood from the squad so far having him as a midfield rotation option can't be the worse thing.

He's considerably cheaper than Declan (who I'm a big fan of) so singing him could mean the end of that pursuit. It could allow us to switch to a midfield 3 or just have another potentially world class midfielder added into our rotation. 

I guess we'll continue to watch this space alongside the Koundé speculation.

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2 hours ago, LongtimerLurker said:

https://www.thechelseachronicle.com/transfer-news/keeping-an-eye-romano-says-chelsea-could-yet-try-sign-35m-title-winner-who-loves-diego-costa/

Seems like we're still deliberating whether to sign him. Can't say I know too much about him tbh but considering we have got rid of some deadwood from the squad so far having him as a midfield rotation option can't be the worse thing.

He's considerably cheaper than Declan (who I'm a big fan of) so singing him could mean the end of that pursuit. It could allow us to switch to a midfield 3 or just have another potentially world class midfielder added into our rotation. 

I guess we'll continue to watch this space alongside the Koundé speculation.

Saul a Spanish international won’t leave the Spanish Champions Atletico to come and sit on our bench. I do question the requirement of a midfielder after sending Gilmour out on loan because of a lack of playing time. If Tuchel is adamant on playing 3-4-3, the 4th man in midfield would have to be a Chalobah/Ampadu/James playing in defence, but covering in midfield when required. We know his default is 2 of Kante/Kovacic/Jorginho, it’s a waste of resources buying a 4th choice.

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2 hours ago, ducavis said:

Saul a Spanish international won’t leave the Spanish Champions Atletico to come and sit on our bench. I do question the requirement of a midfielder after sending Gilmour out on loan because of a lack of playing time. If Tuchel is adamant on playing 3-4-3, the 4th man in midfield would have to be a Chalobah/Ampadu/James playing in defence, but covering in midfield when required. We know his default is 2 of Kante/Kovacic/Jorginho, it’s a waste of resources buying a 4th choice.

Tuchel has already pointed out in the context of Lukaku that top class players are only useful to us if they don't mind the idea of joining a competitive squad rather than a team of 11 players. Anything else would risk our current "precious" dynamic according to him. We have already seen last season that in many positions we don't necessarily have 1st and 2nd choice but rather choice A or B, dependent on opponent, form and fitness. Kanté/Jorginho/Pulisic are actually prime examples. If players like Pulisic and Ziyech flourish as we hope, we might see even more of that.

So if Saul isn't up for that you're right, we should pass. If he is, we've seen City do crazier deals than buying a 4th 1st class player for 2 positions before an extremely demanding season. You're assuming his only possible  reason to move would be lack of reliable playing time, and you might be right. It is however equally possible that his lack of reliable playing time is merely a symptom of a sense of being stuck, after an early peak in his career, a rediculously long contract, maybe a lack of ambition...? Being 4 years younger than Kantè and Jorginho, Chelsea would be a great challenge for him and it's not like spanish internationals have been inherently hesitant in the past to move here.

If we pull this off, particularly for the rumoured fees, it would be a masterstroke and a real boost to out title hopes, maybe even more substantially so than Koundé (who I find amazing) now that Chalobah is emerging. You're right though, there's no need for despair if it doesn't happen.

Edited by Luiz4Chelsea
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Think he's someone who would benefit from a change of environment.

At his best he is a fantastic midfielder so i'd be all for giving it a try for a decent price. Impressed me in the Champions League when Atletico faced Liverpool in 2020.

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5 hours ago, ducavis said:

Saul a Spanish international won’t leave the Spanish Champions Atletico to come and sit on our bench. I do question the requirement of a midfielder after sending Gilmour out on loan because of a lack of playing time. If Tuchel is adamant on playing 3-4-3, the 4th man in midfield would have to be a Chalobah/Ampadu/James playing in defence, but covering in midfield when required. We know his default is 2 of Kante/Kovacic/Jorginho, it’s a waste of resources buying a 4th choice.

Sometime, maybe we football fans oppose ourselves. A football team is made up of 11 players and not one player. Because maybe because we have signed a striker now, some people feel we don't need any player again.

I feel we need a midfielder, let's not forget that was it not Jorginho that did a back pass that made Arsenal score and win us last season. I feel we are weak in central midfield.

Also there is need for squad depth in that midfield for the champions league, FA cup, club world cup, premier league, and league cup.

I don't think Gilmour has the physicality that I think we need in that midfield for ball recovery and drive, so Saul Niguez might be the option for the team.

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