Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has backed new signing Saul Niguez to succeed at the club after his disappointing debut against Aston Villa.
Niguez was one of two major signings the Blues made during the summer transfer window. Romelu Lukaku secured his return to the club earlier in the window from Inter Milan for around £97m.
Then on deadline day, the Atletico Madrid midfielder joined Chelsea on a season-long loan deal.
The Spaniard made his debut for Chelsea over the weekend as they hosted Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
Niguez struggled though as he was taken off by Thomas Tuchel at half time. Lukaku scored a brace as Chelsea went onto win the game 3-0.
Azpilicueta has been speaking ahead of Chelsea’s first Champions League group game against Zenit on Tuesday (as cited by talkSPORT). He believes Niguez is a “great addition” for the Blues:
“Saul is a great player. I’ve known him since his days in the national team,” Azpilicueta said.
“He has a great experience at the highest level with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and, when he signed for Chelsea, he had a bit of stressful last hours of the transfer window.
“He arrived in a new country, just field training sessions, his first game was against good opposition and they were very aggressive, so it’s normal.
“Sometimes you need a bit more time to adapt. His response has been absolutely spot on. He’s decided to improve, he’s asking questions, he wants to adapt as quick as possible.
“Some players need more time than others. That’s completely natural. He asked for our full support.
“He’s a great addition. I’m very happy to have him in our team and I’m sure that he will keep growing and helping the team because we need that from everybody.
“I’m sure that he will be an important player in the season.”
Azpilicueta’s current deal at Chelsea expires in 2022. Despite this, he insists that he has no “concerns” about his future:
“I don’t have any concerns. I feel fully trusted by the club since I arrived.
“Yeah, it’s true that my contract ends in June but I’m just focused on what is next, which is to train, to play the best I can, and everything will take care of itself.
“I don’t need to say anything more. I just feel that I have to keep doing the things that I’m doing and everything will come by itself.
“Of course, I love to be here, I’ve feel loved since I arrived and, of course, my aim is to be here for as long as I can.”