Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Chelsea have made a “phenomenal signing” in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
The 26-year-old was snapped up on deadline day, with the Blues bringing him in on a season-long loan, that includes an option to buy next summer. Merson says it is an “amazing” piece of business and he can’t understand why other Premier League teams didn’t go after the Spaniard:
“Chelsea now have a midfield dreams are made of after getting Saul Niguez on deadline day. What a phenomenal signing that is. He’s in his prime. He’s just won La Liga. He plays in all the big games. And you get him on loan. That’s amazing. He’s only going to cost £30m if they make it permanent as well. Where do you ever find players like that for that kind of money? Amazing.”
“Chelsea already have three great midfielders in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. He’s the fourth. And they are going to need him. They are going deep in every competition this season. They need players. I don’t know why teams like Manchester United and Arsenal didn’’t go in for him. Look at their midfields.”
“United have Paul Pogba but he can’t play in a two and then it’s Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic. And Arsenal ended up handing a new contract to Granit Xhaka… The difference in class is enormous.”
Undoubtedly, Niguez wanted to move to a Premier League side who are in the hunt for trophies. After all, as Merson mentions, he has recently won the Spanish league title with Atletico. It means Arsenal would not have been an attractive destination.
With United, they have already handed Cristiano Ronaldo a £500,000 a week contract so they were unlikely to be keen on paying Niguez’s salary too, which is reportedly £200,000 a week.
It means Chelsea were always the favourites for the Spanish international’s signature, and it will be hoped he can make a big impression over the course of the campaign.