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Comparing Atletico’s Saul Niguez and Chelsea’s Fabregas – Should The Blues Replace Their Midfielder?

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Saul Niguez

Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez vs Cesc Fabregas – A Statistical Comparison

Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, seem to have found their rhythm back following two back-to-back wins and Antonio Conte, the Blues boss, is hoping to replicate the form of last season in order to reclaim the silverware. If reports are believed to be true, the ex-Azzurri and Juventus boss is already planning a massive spending spree next summer and has identified Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez as his prime transfer target.

Saul, however, has recently signed a long-term contract that ties him down until summer 2026 and has a buy-out clause of £134m. The Rojiblancos boss Diego Simeone has no intention of letting his prized asset leave anytime soon, but Chelsea are hopeful of striking a deal for around £71m and believe the amount will be good enough to lure the Spanish heavyweights as reported by Don Balon (h/t Daily Star).

The Blues have let veteran Nemanja Matic leave for rivals Manchester United but strengthened their midfield with the signings of French youngster Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco and Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater. They already have the likes of N’Golo Kante and the vastly experienced Cesc Fabregas, who are rightfully preferred in Chelsea’s starting line-up ahead of the newcomers. Saul’s arrival will jeopardise the future of his fellow countryman Cesc Fabregas, who will be 31 by the start of next campaign.

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas is one of Spain’s greatest stars from the current generation, who holds a distinguished reputation for Arsenal and Barcelona and has also earned 110 caps for his country so far. The Spaniard plays in a central midfield role and is adored for his passing and set-piece skills, and loves to snatch as well as hold possession in the middle of the park. He screens the defence when required and his strong tackling trait helps his side to win back possession and constitute counter-attacking threats, which often break the opponent’s resilience via his great vision and accurate through balls.

Saul, on the other hand, has a strong left foot and plays in a central midfield role quite similar to Fabregas. He is tipped to replace the veteran in the Spain national team set-up and the Blues are now planning to acquire him with a similar purpose. Saul too loves to hold possession in midfield, has decent shooting skills, contributes while defending and his hard tackles make him look like a tough cookie despite him being 22 only. He loves to play passes, holds strong dribbling skills which often create space up-front for the attackers.

Statistically, Saul has shown superiority over Fabregas in defensive traits whereas the Chelsea midfield general is ahead in terms of attacking contribution. But the Atletico youngster holds a bright future ahead as his current status has already earned him fame across the globe.