Thomas Tuchel has announced that both he and Chelsea have been watching Saul Niguez “for years” after the midfielder arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea sealed Saul’s loan from Atletico Madrid on the day of the transfer deadline, with the Spain international making his debut for West London in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Talking about the midfielder’s arrival, Tuchel says Saul quickly settled in at the club and confirmed the 26-year-old will be added to the matchday squad this weekend.
“He’s been with us for two weeks now, he’s played at the highest level and the picture is very, very clear.”
“The association has accompanied him for years. They have expertise from all of the scouting reports on him over the years.
“It was a quick adjustment because of Marcos Alonso and Kepa (who helped with the translation) so it was very easy and smooth to welcome him into the group.
“So he’s in the squad and tomorrow we have to see with Jorginho whether it makes sense that we invest another 90 minutes in him – because Jorginho can never say no.
“When Italy calls, he can never say no. Even if they’re 5-0 up he still wants every ball up and running so he’s pretty tired so it’s entirely possible Saul will play for us because he has the quality and the know-how and the experience .
Tuchel spoke of his desire to add more midfield reinforcements, with Saul slipping into an embarrassment of wealth alongside Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic at Chelsea.
The German insists it was important to add more depth with the number of games played this season and says the opportunity to sign Saul, who has been on Chelsea’s radar for “a time”, was too good to be to refuse.
“I was a little worried about going into the season just with Jorginho, N’Golo and Mateo – not because of lack of quality or character, because I’m the happiest coach I can be to have these three guys.
“But it’s a bit unpredictable, we have a Club World Cup in December and no one knows exactly how many games are to come.
“Usually two of these three guys always play, so if you’ve got one injured or suspended, you run the risk of overloading the others.
“We looked for alternatives – not desperately, but Saul has been on Chelsea’s radar for many, many years.
“I had known the player for a long time and fought for the player with other clubs in the past and that was never possible.
“When the situation arose that a loan was possible, we were thrilled.”
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