Santi Denia: It is only a matter of time before Chelsea will see the real Saúl Niguez
By Alessandro Schiavone
Atletico Madrid legend Santi Denia has tipped Saul Niguez to leave his mark on Chelsea after a turbulent start to life in London.
Saul has so far been limited to only 47 minutes of Premier League football after sealing a deadline day loan move to Chelsea back in September.
But although Saul was on the radar of several European giants little over three summers ago, he went down in manager Diego Simeone's estimation at Atletico Madrid and is now bottom of the pecking order at Stamford Bridge under Thomas Tuchel. The German is not entirely sold on last year’s La Liga winner’s abilities to deal with the demands of English football.
But Santi, who manages Spain’s Under 19s and made 297 appearances for the Colchoneros between 1995 and 2004, is confident that Saul will eventually win Tuchel and the Chelsea fans over.
He said: “The good players always succeed and Saul Niguez will succeed because he is one of them. All players go through different stages [in their careers] and the process takes time. Now Saul has to adapt to the Premier League which is very different to the Spanish league.” Rumours from Spain have surfaced that Saul’s loan move could be cut short with new Barcelona manager Xavi and Juventus vying for his signature. But 1996 La Liga champion and two-time Spain international Santi reckons that all his compatriot needs is time because he has all the attributes to excel.
He added: “It may take a couple of months but Saul will succeed in England because he has all that is needed. He has a lot of potential, is physically strong and good with the ball at his feet.”