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Friday, December 3, 2021

Gianfranco Zola gives verdict on Saul Niguez's situation at Chelsea FC

  Gianfranco Zola has reassured Chelsea FC supporters that Saul Niguez is a quality player despite the Spain international’s disappointing s...

 

Gianfranco Zola has reassured Chelsea FC supporters that Saul Niguez is a quality player despite the Spain international’s disappointing start to his Blues career.

The 27-year-old was handed just his fourth start of the current campaign at Watford on Wednesday night following his season-long loan move to Chelsea FC from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Saul was named in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI for Chelsea FC’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa back in September before the Blues manager hauled off the summer signing at half-time. The Spanish midfielder was subjected to the same treatment at Vicarage Road on Wednesday night after he picked up a yellow card before being replaced at the break with the scoreline at 1-1.

Saul has started two games in the Carabao Cup this term as well as being limited to substitute appearances in the Champions League against Malmo FF and Juventus since arriving at the south west London side.

Former Blues forward Zola is confident that Saul is a top player who needs time to acclimatise to life at the Champions League holders.

“There is no doubt about the quality of this player,” Zola told Amazon Prime during their coverage of Chelsea FC’s 2-1 win over Watford. “It is just about adapting to the pace of the Premier League. “I saw the game [against Aston Villa] and sometimes he was a little bit too late in the decision making. “In England you cannot do that, in Spain it’s a different story, you are allowed more time on the ball but here you need to think faster.”

Saul was a key player for Atletico under Diego Simeone and the playmaker won the La Liga title, the Europa League, the Spanish Super Cup and the Uefa Super Cup with los Rojiblancos. The Spain international scored 43 times in 340 games during 10 seasons at Atletico before deciding to accept a new challenge with Chelsea FC in the Premier League.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville gave his backing to Chelsea FC’s signing in the summer given Saul’s undoubted quality and vast experience.

“Saul is just another excellent player,” Neville told Sky Sports in September. “He’s got massive experience at the top of La Liga, massive experience in the Champions League and at international level. “That’s Chelsea’s model and you look at what they’ve done in this transfer window in terms of ins and outs and again, it’s been another exemplary performance from them.”

Chelsea FC will make the trip to West Ham in their next Premier League game on Saturday after edging to a 2-1 victory over Watford on Wednesday night.

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