Following a clearly tense season in which Atletico Madrid won the La Liga title, Saul Niguez finally cast out from Atleti in hope of proving that he was good enough to play at the top level in central midfield.
Yet he failed to make an impact in the Premier League, making just 23 appearances, many of which were from the bench. In a goodbye message on his Instagram, Saul made little secret that it had been a mentally taxing year.
Now back in Madrid and set to be part of the Atleti squad once more, Saul was keen to emphasize that he has come back stronger.
“Honestly, I feel very good, with a lot of desire, very excited to return home and mentally at my peak. I am really looking forward to seeing my colleagues, to seeing the manager and to work under him again.”
“Despite not being able to play the amount of minutes that I wished for, I think it has been a good experience for me to leave at a point when I didn’t feel good mentally. I have been able to reset, learn a new culture, live a new life and get to know a new club.”
Saul was speaking to the club website and seemed genuinely humbled by his time away.
“I only hope to give the best of myself. I am aware of the fact that I am coming from a loan in which I didn’t have a lot minutes and that I have earn a place in the team through work, consistency and a lot of sacrifice.”
“I come with a lot of humility, thinking about working and helping the team in every way I can and in every place I’m needed. I am looking forward to demonstrating that despite having a difficult year, it has been very helpful to improve and grow in a lot of aspects.”
His comment about helping the team in any place he is needed is an interesting detail. Given the debate that led to his discontent previously, it shows a willingness to do whatever it takes to play, something which will no doubt delight Diego Simeone.