The fact Chelsea were able to land such a talent on a favourable loan deal speaks volumes for the success of the transfer window.
However, Saul was a signing that took some time to convince to take the plunge. An Atletico Madrid boyhood fan, the player had recently won the league with his own club and was a key face of the club. Keen to try out a new style of football and to evolve his game beyond the Simeone doctrine, though, Saul was available for transfer. Both Liverpool and Manchester United were believed to be keen, but the player was not fully committed to an exit.
A chat with Thomas Tuchel, though, is believed to have changed everything in terms of his mood on the transfer. According to reports close to the player, Tuchel spoke with Saul personally on the phone to let him know what the plans were. With a league title, a UEFA Europa League pairing, and a Copa del Rey, Atletico had produced many great moments for Saul.
To leave that behind would take an absolutely fantastic offer; one that would be nigh-impossible to say no towards. Therefore, the personal intervention of Tuchel to seal the deal was believed to have been a game and mood-changer for the player.
Marcos Alonso positive on compatriots Premier League potential
As one of the Spaniards already at Chelsea, Marcos Alonso has a clear insight on how things work at Stamford Bridge. The wing-back has enjoyed a few intriguing moves in his career, and has enjoyed a huge transformation since the days of playing for Sunderland. A cult hero at Chelsea, Alonso has been in and out of the Chelsea team under a variety of managers. He even had a famous spat with ex-coach Frank Lampard that could have sealed his fate at the club.
Still a part of the squad and a regular under Tuchel, though, Alonso is clear that his new teammate has every opportunity to succeed in England. Speaking to the official club website, Alonso said: “I know Saúl from the national team, and also we shared a manager from when we were in the Real Madrid academy.
“He’s a great player. His conditions are going to be good for the Premier League. He is strong physically, he is very good in the air, and those are things you need when you move to this league.
“He is ready to kick off and hopefully we can take advantage of his qualities and he will be of great help to the team, because it’s going to be a long year, with a lot of competitions.”
Seen as one of the smartest signings of the summer, it will be interesting to see what happens next with Saul.