It’s ironic that Chelsea have such a dismal record in signing players on loan, when the loan system has played such a key (and largely successful) role in the talent development pathways at the club, but as Saúl Ñíguez heads back home to Madrid — not yet officially official, but pretty much accepted, and yesterday also reported by Marca — we can add yet another name to that growing trivia category.
Other than Mateo Kovačić, all our temporary signings in the last couple decades have proven either useless (Radamel Falcao, Gonzalo Higuaín), useless and delusional (Alexandre Pato), or useless and quickly forgotten (Maniche, Ricardo Quaresma). Compared to those names, Saúl’s been almost decent!
In fairness to the 27-year-old, he’s been professional throughout. He tried his best and he tried his hardest. Unfortunately, his current best is simply not good enough. It certainly wasn’t good enough on his debut, and outside of the odd game against Spurs, it never got to a point where it was going to be good enough.
Oh well. Best of luck back in Spain, Saúl!