WITH Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi dominating the transfer columns this summer, Chelsea’s acquisition of Saul Niguez went under the radar somewhat.
The Blues have arranged a deal similar to the one that facilitated Mateo Kovacic’s move to Stamford Bridge in that the Spain international is technically on loan this season but there is an option to make the deal permanent next year.
Given that Thomas Tuchel prefers a 3-4-2-1 formation, Chelsea are now well stocked in central midfield with Saul competing with Kovacic, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante for two spots in the starting line-up.
All four are good enough to start regularly for a Champions League quality side so it will be interesting to see how the German tactician rotates his assets and which combinations he uses in various scenarios.
Saul won La Liga with Atletico Madrid last season and was also a key figure in 2017/18 when Diego Simeone’s side lifted the Europa League trophy.
We have added the 26-year-old to Dream Team so that gaffers can now transfer him into their XI if they so wish.
In fact, we’ve added 17 players to the game during the international break – here’s the list in full:
- Saul Niguez (£3.0m) – Chelsea – Midfielder
- Conor Gallagher (£2.0m) – Crystal Palace – Midfielder
- Mathias Normann (£1.5m) – Norwich – Midfielder
- Hwang Hee-Chan (£1.5m) – Wolves – Forward
- Maxwel Cornet (£2.0m) – Burnley – Midfielder
- Ozan Kabak (£2.0m) – Norwich – Defender
- Ademola Lookman (£2.0m) – Leicester – Midfielder
- Alex Kral (£1.5m) – West Ham – Midfielder
- Salomon Rondon (£2.0m) – Everton – Forward
- Nikola Vlasic (£2.5m) – West Ham – Midfielder
- Takehiro Tomiyasu (£2.0m) – Arsenal – Defender
- Connor Roberts (£1.5m) – Burnley – Defender
- Odsonne Edouard (£2.5m) – Crystal Palace – Forward
- Marc Cucurella (£2.0m) – Brighton – Defender
- Emerson Royal (£2.5m) – Spurs – Defender
- Alvaro Fernandez (£1.0m) – Brentford – Goalkeeper
- Cristiano Ronaldo (£7.5m) – Manchester United – Forward
The last name on the list will naturally leap out at you but there’s potential elsewhere.
Odsonne Edouard scored 57 goals in 94 league games during his developing years at Celtic and has been absolutely prolific for France’s Under-21s in the last two years.
Palace have been crying out for a consistent goalscorer for years now and the PSG academy product may fit the bill for Patrick Vieira.
If Emerson Royal is able to establish himself as Tottenham’s first-choice right-back then he could be a Dream Team bargain at £2.5m.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are yet to concede a goal in the Premier League this season, leading to healthy returns for Eric Dier (£2.6m) and co – will the ex-Barcelona full-back join the party?
Nikola Vlasic is an interesting addition.
The 23-year-old failed to make much of an impact at Everton in 2017/18 but he’s impressed for Croatia in recent years and will be keen to make his mark on the Premier League having been given a second chance.
Of course, it’s generally best to wait and see how new arrivals adapt to their surroundings before backing them to the hilt… unless they happened to be called Cristiano Ronaldo.
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