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Saul: “Herrera must earn his spot”

Saul Niguez, Atletico Madrid
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Saul Niguez is having a rough start to the season after some excellent performances in recent years. However, his place in the starting lineup is still untouchable.

Atletico entered the season hoping that they could finally win La Liga for the first time since the 2013/14 season. Saul Niguez was expected to be one of the main plugs of the team.

However, the results aren’t going according to the plan. Even though Atletico are sitting at 3rd, the efficiency is suffering.

Cholo’s side scored only seven goals in eight league matches.

Fans and the media are wondering about constant exclusion of Hector Herrera, who arrived from Porto this summer.

Herrera only started a single La Liga match, while entering as a substitute in the Champions League where he scored for 2-2 against Juve.

Saul talked to official La Liga website, supporting Herrera by saying:

“I think he’s amazing.

“People are surprised that he hasn’t been getting game time but, at the end of the day, you have to earn it.

“We saw the other day when he played in a different position. We have always set an example for him, because he keeps training very well and, as I said, he wants to listen and to learn.

“And despite the fact he’s an experienced player, he’s open-minded. In the dressing room, he’s a very good guy.”

Since their arrival, Lodi and Trippier are the main creative outlets in Diego Simeone’s team:

“Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, they’re great at getting up and down the wing,” Saul added.

“They’re top players and they pose a real threat because they’re excellent at crossing.

“As for Felipe and Mario Hermoso, both of them are very experienced and top-class centre-backs, but their most salient and important feature – as with the rest of the signings – is that they have a willingness to learn and to listen, regardless of how experienced they may be.

“Joao Felix is getting more playing time than Saponjic but the same goes for him as the other lads.

“He’s always working hard in training, he’s a very strong guy when it comes to holding off defenders and creating space, and he has great movement in the box.”