In the wake of his last-minute loan signing (with barely a minute or two to spare, in fact), new Chelsea midfield Saúl Ñíguez jumped on Twitch with popular streamer Ibai Llanos to reflect on all the drama of this decision and outcome, including that all-important question, what shirt number will he wear?
While Saúl didn’t specifically confirm his new number, he strongly hinted that it would be No.17, which he wore at Atlético 2014-16 before switching to the No.8. Incidentally, Mateo Kovačić just made that same switch the other week, freeing up the No.17 for a new arrival.
“It’s a number I had at Atlético Madrid, it’s a number I like. I had it at Atlético. I had it in my early days.”
The No.26 and the No.28 also fit that criteria, but the latter belongs to the Captain while the former is effectively retired.
Beyond that all-important question, Saúl also talked briefly about the challenges that he gets to look forward to at Stamford Bridge.
“Chelsea have promised me to train in my position, to play we will see. To return to certain customs that I do not do now, that is the most important reason for my decision.
“The three midfielders who are playing are at a high level, it will not be easy to play, but if I put my mind to it and fight it, I can get it.”
“[Chelsea] are the Champions of Europe. It’s very positive for me. [...] a great opportunity for me [even if] I don’t speak English. I want to learn it. I know how to say what my name is! That’s it.”
Saúl should have a good chance to rise to the challenge and make a name for himself at Stamford Bridge as well, in whatever language.