In a bit of classic Deadline Day rush — complete with last-minute paperwork submitted just before the deadline — Chelsea have secured the signing of Saúl Ñíguez from Atlético Madrid.
The 26-year-old versatile midfielder is our second major signing of the summer, and joins on a season-long loan as a useful (and youngest!) part of the midfield rotation alongside or behind N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovačić.
“I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can’t wait to wear the shirt, start training and see all of you. See you soon!”
-Saúl Ñíguez; source: Chelsea FC
Chelsea are paying a not insignificant loan fee of around €4-5m, while also covering Saúl’s not insignificant wages. We also have a confirmed buy-option reportedly set somewhere between €25-40m, which could prove an absolute bargain, especially at the lower end of the range, depending on how he performs. Atlético had been pushing for a buy-obligation at one point, but we have successfully avoided making that big of a commitment and given ourselves an easy out should he not perform up to expectations — which wouldn’t necessarily be surprising considering his steadily decreasing involvement at Atléti last season.
There’s a lot to like about this signing, especially if it works out as well we’re all hoping. Chelsea get a good player, Saúl gets his career back on track, and Atléti get a decent payday. And if not, then no long-term harm done. (Shades of the Mateo Kovačić deal with the other Madrid team from a few years ago.)
“We welcome Saúl to the Club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honours in five different competitions this season. He is a proven winner, a player with huge experience and we know he will be very well-suited to the challenges that face us on all fronts in the coming year.”
-Marina Granovskaia; source: Chelsea FC
Welcome, Saúl! Let’s win some things!