Saul's record vs English opponents makes for encouraging reading ahead of Chelsea debut

Despite having never stepped foot in the Premier League, Chelsea signing Saul Niguez has enjoyed his prior experiences against English sides.

Saul has spent all of his career in Spain, starting out in Real Madrid’s academy before switching allegiances to Atletico Madrid.

Other than a loan spell at Rayo Vallecano, Atletico housed the midfielder for well over a decade.

His loyalty has taken him all over the continent, thanks to excursions in the Champions League and Europa League.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images


From Munich to Moscow, Turkey to Turin, Saul’s passport is well stamped.

But Britain remains a largely unknown quantity to the 26-year-old, having only previously played there competitively on five occasions.

That number will shoot up now he is a Chelsea player.

It could even be raised right away, as the Blues host Aston Villa next Sunday at Stamford Bridge following the international interlude.

Saul vs the Premier League

Perhaps a starting role would be too soon for the Spaniard; the intensity of the top flight takes some getting used to.

However, Saul can enter into battle knowing he holds a pretty strong record when facing England’s elite.

During his European outings with Atletico, the midfielder played Liverpool, Leicester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

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Admittedly, he struggled to overcome his current club in four attempts.

Chelsea struck one draw and three victories next to Saul’s name, most recently in the Champions League round of 16 success in March.

Yet, he did manage to score when the side’s denied one another back in 2017.

Away from the Blues, Saul has an untarnished return whilst tackling the Premier League’s big guns.

In two matches versus Liverpool, he’s won twice and scored once.

His strike against the Reds sealed a 1-0 first leg triumph last February; Diego Simeone’s men would go onto the win the tie via away goals.  

In two matches versus Leicester, he’s won one, drawn one and scored one.

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That goal was another match winner, breaking Foxes’ hearts. They were dumped out in the quarter finals as Atletico progressed to the semis.

In two matches versus Arsenal, he’s won one and drawn one, without scoring.

So if there were any worries that Saul will struggle in the Premier League, perhaps take a second thought.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.