Liverpool reportedly want Saul Niguez but who is the Spaniard? We look at why the Reds might look to sign him.
Who is Saul Niguez?
Saul is a 26-year-old midfielder who has been on the books of Atletico Madrid since 2008. He made his debut for their senior side four years later and then his La Liga debut in 2013.
Ridiculously, Saul missed out on the 13/14 La Liga title win as it was the sole year he spent away from Atletico – he was on loan with Elche. But he returned as a first-team regular, playing 35 games in his first year back and at least 40 every year since.
So what type of player is Saul? He’s one of the world’s most versatile midfielders.
Here’s a quote from journalist Guillem Balague back in 2018 that sums him up well:
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“He can play in the [Diego] Simeone style without the ball, quick putting teams under pressure, but also in the Barcelona style if he wanted to, quick with his passes, and of course he has got the physique to come from deep as he did with one of the goals against Croatia.
“You have got everything in one player.”
A left-footed midfielder, Saul typically plays on that side and can cover the flank as well as the middle. Honestly, he can play just about anywhere – attack or defence.
But he looks set to leave Atletico this summer. Saul didn’t play as much as he would have liked last year and AS believe he wants a change.
Do Liverpool want him?
The latter sort of puts a price on his head – Atletico would want slightly more than they pay for his replacement, Rodrigo De Paul.
It’s a move that makes complete sense for Liverpool. We thought as much back in March and we’re quite excited to see there might be some traction here.
Liverpool need to replace Gini Wijnaldum, after all – a versatile midfielder they played on the left of a midfield three. It’s hard to think of a better fit for Saul or a better fit than Saul.
He suits the Liverpool style of adapting game by game. Jurgen Klopp likes his midfielders to play to game’s current flow – be that defending deep or pressing high, playing on the counter or maintaining possession.
He also wants his midfielders to drift wide and cover the flanks behind the full-backs. Again, Saul clicks nicely with that as a left-footer who has played on the flank before.
We think Klopp could work wonders with Saul and this is one we really hope has some truth to it.