The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder who has been contracted to Atletico Madrid since July 1, 2008, told the press after the loan move that it was a gamble for Atletico Madrid to allow him to go.
“A player of my name and going out on loan is a gamble,” Saul told IbaiLlanos on Twitch. “It doesn’t make any sense, honestly.
“It’s an investment in me. It’s a gamble to get back to being me. These last three seasons have not been easy for my family and me.
“The pity is that I have not been able to say goodbye to the red and white fans, explaining my version of how I feel and how I have felt.”
Based on his assertion during the interview, most fans of Chelsea thought Saul Niguez would be a great addition to Thomas Tuchel’s squad since he was so confident that he didn’t deserve to go on loan.
Tuchel also bought to the confidence Saul Niguez displayed during the interview by starting him in the Premier League game against Aston Villa.
To the disappointment of the coach and the fans, Niguez could not adapt to the realities of the Premier League and struggled throughout the first half of the game.
In the first half, Niguez managed to win only one duel out of 9 attempts. The 26-year-old midfielder conceded three fouls. It got so bad for the midfielder that he misplaced six passes and had just a 58 percent pass accuracy in Aston Villa’s half.
Aside from that, Saul Niguez managed to gain possession once and lost it nine times which forced Chelsea’s coach to substitute him in the 46th minute of the game. He was replaced by Italian midfielder Jorginho.
🗣"We didn't target him as we did not know he was playing."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 11, 2021
Dean Smith reveals if Aston Villa aimed to target Saul Niguez on his Premier League debut. pic.twitter.com/Qm2GpcJdl6
“We could see Saul had a bit of trouble to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League, our structure and our style of play”, coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports after the game:
“It was hard to [take him off] but I had the feeling that he struggled. He had some big mistakes, passing mistakes, and errors. He struggled with the intensity and you could see he was not fully adapted. This is completely my responsibility. I thought he could just jump in and play for us at this level.
“It’s very hard [to adapt]. I told him before, it’s my responsibility if it doesn’t work out for the match of your life. When he struggled a bit with ball losses and created some chance for Aston Villa, I thought it was better to change him.”