How Chelsea outcast Kepa swung transfer deadline day deal for Saul Niguez after his fallout at Atletico Madrid

CHELSEA'S newest signing Saul Niguez has revealed he was persuaded to join the club by Spanish keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Saul, 26, joined the Blues on loan on deadline day, with Thomas Tuchel's side given the option to buy him for £40million at the end of the season.


And while European champions Chelsea would appear an attractive proposition for any player, Niguez has confirmed the main factor was that compatriot Kepa was in their squad.

Speaking in an interview with eSports commentator Ibai Llanos on his Twitch channel, Saul said: "Kepa is there, Marcos is there, and many other players speak Spanish.

"It is key for me that he [Kepa] is there. If he hadn't been there everything would have been different.

"Kepa and I have known each other for a long time, we've been together in all the Spain youth set ups, and it is great that he is there."

Kepa has been an outcast at Stamford Bridge in recent times following the arrival of Edouard Mendy last summer.

However, he was the hero in Chelsea's Super Cup win over Villarreal as he saved two penalties in the shoot-out.

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Meanwhile, Saul joins Chelsea and will be competing for a place in the midfield along with the likes of N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.

And he plans to do his utmost to help the team as they eye a Premier League title challenge this season.

He added: "Going to Chelsea is leaving my comfort zone, I'm going to the champions of Europe, a team that has world class midfielders.

"I know it will be difficult to play, but I'll give my best and, above all, I think I will be happy in London."

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Saul could make his debut for the Blues when they host Aston Villa on Saturday, September 11.

Chelsea have picked up seven points from their first three Premier League games of the season.

Last weekend, Tuchel's side fought to a deserved 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half when Reece James was sent off.

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