Saul Niguez has been settling in at Cobham following his deadline day loan move from Atletico Madrid and we caught up with the Spanish midfielder for an exclusive first interview to discuss an opportunity too good to turn down and reuniting with old friends he hopes will help him adjust…
The 26-year-old completed his switch from the Spanish capital late on Tuesday night before flying into London on Wednesday and checking in at our Surrey training base for the first time.
He will train with some of his new team-mates today and hope to make his Chelsea debut in our next outing at home to Aston Villa next weekend. Before then, we sat down with the Liga champion and you can watch the video interview in full below.
Saul, welcome to Chelsea. What does it mean for you to be here?
‘I am so happy to be here. It was a great opportunity for myself and for my career. 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. 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 international team-mates and good friends here already though so that should be a big help for you to settle in quickly…
‘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.’
Watch the interview in full in the video above and click here to test your knowledge on Saul in our tricky quiz!