"The guy was an absolute steal" - Journalist hails Chelsea star despite widespread criticism

Saul Niguez will prove to be “an absolute steal” after joining Chelsea on transfer deadline day, according to journalist Paul Brown.

© GiveMeSport Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel

How did the deal come about?

Having succeeded Frank Lampard in January and led Chelsea to Champions League glory just a matter of months later, head coach Thomas Tuchel went into the transfer window with the opportunity to make the squad his own.

The Blues’ business began with goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli coming in from west London neighbours Fulham and went up a notch when Romelu Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge for a club record fee of £97.5million a decade after joining the club the first time around.

But Tuchel then turned his attentions towards bolstering his midfield options and, with the transfer deadline looming, Saul was signed from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan with an option to buy.

The Spain international, who boasts 19 caps, has headed to Stamford Bridge with vast amounts of experience.

Saul made 22 starts as Atletico won the La Liga title last season and has featured 264 times in the Spanish top flight.

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He went on to make his debut in Chelsea’s clash with Aston Villa at the weekend before being an unused substitute for the Champions League group stage meeting with Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.

What has Paul Brown said about Saul?

The journalist has praised Tuchel for a shrewd piece of business in the dying moments of the summer transfer window.

He believes Saul will thrive in the Premier League and Chelsea will not hesitate in taking up the option in making the Spaniard’s move permanent.

Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa: Hear what fans are saying about Lukaku and co. on The Football Terrace…

Brown told GMS: “I don’t have any fears that he’s going to be a massive bust.

“The guy was an absolute steal and they paid virtually nothing for him.

“Even if they take him on a permanent deal at the end of the season, they’re still not paying a huge amount of money for him.”

How has Saul faired at Chelsea so far?

Saul received widespread criticism following his first outing for the Blues on Saturday, with his performance against Aston Villa being branded “embarrassing” and “garbage”.

Chelsea head coach Tuchel substituted the central midfielder at half-time and, following the Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge, admitted his decision was made in a bid to stop Saul suffering a loss of confidence so early in his Blues career.

Saul and Tuchel will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes when the Champions League holders take on London rivals Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

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