Saul Niguez will wear Chelsea’s number 17 shirt this season as the midfielder gives his first interview since his last day transfer from Atlético Madrid, revealing he’s always wanted to play in the Premier League
- Chelsea have revealed that Saul Niguez, who has signed a new lease, will wear the number 17 shirt
- The midfielder joined the Atletico Madrid Blues on the day of the transfer deadline
- The Spaniard revealed his excitement about playing in the Premier League
- The 26-year-old’s first game for the club will be against Aston Villa
Saul Niguez is Chelsea’s new number 17 and follows in the footsteps of Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah, who previously wore that number.
The midfielder’s transfer from Atlético Madrid to the Blues came to an end on the day of the transfer deadline, with the deal nearly collapsing at 11:57 p.m. The club have the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for £34 million.
But the 26-year-old completed his move to Stamford Bridge in time, with the club revealing that he will wear the number 17 shirt, which he wore during his first two seasons with Atletico.
Saul Niguez will wear Chelsea’s number 17 shirt this season after being loaned to the club
After landing in England, Saul posed for photos on the club’s training ground in Cobham
In his first interview with his new club, Saul outlined his excitement at getting the chance to play in the Premier League.
“I worked at Atletico Madrid for 15 years, it’s my home. And when the opportunity arose to join Chelsea, I couldn’t turn it down,” he said Chelsea’s official website.
“The last day of the transfer window was a crazy one, but in the end I was able to get here, as we all hoped, so I have to grab this opportunity.
“As a child I always had two goals: to make history at Atletico Madrid and play in the Premier League, not only because of the competition itself, but also because of the culture and the language.”
Saul joins fellow Spaniards Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kepa Arrizabalaga and the midfielder says it will be a big help if others speak his native language.
In his first interview with his new club, Saul outlined his excitement at getting the chance to play in the Premier League
Saul Niguez and Kepa (bottom left) pictured together with the Spanish national team
‘It’s really important. With Azpilicueta, Marcos 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 talk to me in English, because I have to learn it and get used to it. I don’t want to speak Spanish to them. He can help me, but I’ll try to talk to him in English as much as possible unless I’m really having a hard time.
“The language is a big challenge for me and I want to learn it as quickly as possible in order to communicate easily and comfortably with my teammates.
‘I used to talk to Atletico’ [Kieran] Trippier, but my English is not good enough. I don’t even dare to do interviews in English!’
Chelsea fans will likely see Saul in action for the first time when the Blues host Aston Villa on September 11, after the international break.
Moments after Saul’s transfer to Chelsea was confirmed, the midfielder revealed that a clash with Atletico boss Diego Simeone forced him to leave the club following his move to the Premier League.
Saul went on Twitch with streamer Ibai Llanos after taking out a loan from Chelsea
Saul revealed a clash with Atletico boss Diego Simeone (left) forced him out of the club
Saul appeared on Twitch with prominent Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos, who has a close relationship with many top footballers, including Lionel Messi. He spoke to Saul about moving to England, leaving his family behind and not knowing the language and influence of Spaniards in the Chelsea dressing room.
“I spoke to (Diego) Simeone,” he explained. “I’ve been playing in different positions for three seasons.
“I owe everything to Diego and he has to be selfish and think about the group.
“I saw myself stuck in a position that wasn’t mine. Chelsea’s option was to get out of the comfort zone, a challenge.
“Chelsea promised me to train in my position – to play we’ll see.”