Saul Niguez said he has asked his new Chelsea teammate and close friend Kepa Arrizabalaga to only have conversations with him in English to help him learn the language faster.

The 26-year-old had never played outside Spain before joining Chelsea on loan on deadline day.

He spent a season on loan at Rayo Vallecano eight years ago, but apart from that, he has been at Atletico Madrid throughout his senior career.

Now at Chelsea, a new country and a new environment, the midfielder is understandably rather worried about the language barrier.

(Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

“The language is a big challenge for me,” he told Chelsea TV in his first interview with the club.

“I want to learn it as soon as possible in order to be able to communicate with my teammates simply and comfortably.

“At Atletico I used to speak with [Kieran] Trippier, but my English isn’t good.

“I don’t even dare to do interviews in English.”


Saul is glad that there are plenty of Spanish speakers in the Chelsea dressing room that will be able to help him learn English.

“Having [Cesar] Azpilicueta, Marcos [Alonso, Kepa, and especially Kepa who has shared a room with me since we started playing in Spain youth team — it’s very important,” he added.

“I already told Kepa to speak to me in English. I need to learn and get used to it.

“I don’t want to speak in Spanish with them. He can help me, but I’ll try to speak to him in English as much as I can unless I’m really struggling.”

Chelsea Unveil New Loan Signing Saul Niguez
(Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chronicle view

Saul’s attitude will certainly please the Chelsea fans, as it illustrates his professionalism as a player.

According to Goal, Chelsea also have an option to buy at £30million in their loan agreement with Atletico, which means learning English would be even more important for the midfielder in case he joins the club permanently next summer.

For now, The Spain international’s arrival is a big relief for Thomas Tuchel in terms of midfield options, particularly given Billy Gilmour’s loan move to Norwich City and N’Golo Kante’s reoccurring injuries recently.

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