On deadline day of the last summer window, Chelsea took Saúl Ñíguez on a loan deal from Atlético Madrid with an option to buy.
The midfielder struggled for minutes at the west London club and has been restricted to only nine league appearances [four league starts]. He managed six more starts in other competitions, with four of them coming in the League Cup.
Taking into account the 27-year-old’s lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge, it is unlikely that Chelsea will exercise the option to buy him in the summer.
Aaron Ñíguez, brother of Atlético owned player, has given an interview to SER Deportivos, where he admitted the Spain international is unlikely to continue with Thomas Tuchel’s side.
When asked if Saúl will return to the La Liga side, Aaron said: “In principle, as far as I know, yes, he has a loan. I have no other news. He has a contract with Atleti and I have no other news.
“If he wants to? Come on… He is Atlético and everything that isn’t Atlético sounds strange to him. I don’t think he’s ever left 100% of Atlético Madrid. It’s my feeling and my opinion.”
Aaron also explained how the Spain international’s adaption at Chelsea was made difficult due to several factors, including his struggles with Diego Simeone’s side last season.
“Saúl is calmer. He is not counting on the desired minutes, but at first it cost him, then he adapted and then came a stretch where there was a stoppage of national teams, he caught Covid and it cost him more to enter the pitch. Now he has re-entered the team and see if he ends up playing,” he stressed.
“It is not easy because of the situation in which Saúl leaves, he arrives at a champion team, then the adaptation to the Premier League, another football, other customs… From January I saw him more settled, enjoying it more. Both on a personal and sporting level, this experience has been very good for him.
“Saúl is Atlético to the core. Everything affects you much more, and also for the beautiful, to celebrate and others. In sports he lowered his level a little in his last season in Madrid and it was not easy for him to digest this. I think that this has made him a much better footballer.”