Saul left Atletico Madrid to go and join Chelsea on loan until the end of the season during the summer transfer window. It was a big move for a player who couldn’t speak English and had never played outside of Spain, and it wasn’t without it’s difficulties.
The 27-year-old broke into Atletico’s first team in 2012 and has since made 340 appearances for the club. But he fell out of favour under Diego Simeone last season and when he did play he played out of position, at left-back rather than central midfield. It soon became clear that a change of scenery was best for both parties.
“I needed to get my head out of the world of Atletico Madrid for a while because I’ve been there since I was 12 years old and everything affected me much more,” Saul said in comments carried by Mundo Deportivo. “If the fans whistle you it affects you much more because those people are your people and when you have difficult moments you live them in a different way.”
Saul initially found it highly difficult playing in the fast-paced Premier League and was hooked at half-time on his debut by Thomas Tuchel. But little-by-little he’s adapted to life in England and began to become an important part of the squad. So far he’s made 14 appearances for Chelsea, accumulating 694 minutes.