Thomas Tuchel admits that Saul Niguez is ‘struggling’ at Chelsea but claims criticism the midfielder received after cameo against Everton was ‘unfair’
- Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted Saul Niguez is struggling
- Tuchel stressed that the criticism that Saul has received has been ‘unfair’
- Saul endured a difficult time after coming on as a substitute against Everton
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Saul Niguez is struggling but stressed that some of the criticism that the midfielder has received is ‘unfair’.
Saul has found it difficult to make a major impact since joining Chelsea on loan from Atletico Madrid at the end of the summer transfer window.
The 27-year-old has been a peripheral figure for Chelsea so far and was particularly disappointing after entering the fray as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Everton on Thursday.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that midfielder Saul Niguez is struggling
Saul subsequently received much criticism on social media, but Tuchel was eager to point out that the Spaniard was used in different positions.
As reported by goal, Tuchel said: ‘Does [Saul] feel that he is in the same role and responsibility as he had at Atletico? No, maybe not yet. Does he struggle? Yes, he struggles.
‘Was he the first player to struggle in the Premier League? No and he won’t be the last one. We protect our players and I will protect our players always. He played yesterday as a No.6, No.9 and as a wing-back.
‘Is that fair to him? No, also it is not. Put it into context and you will have a more moderate picture and reaction. I understand people are disappointed after yesterday but reactions like this are the reasons why I am not involved on social media.’
Tuchel stressed that the criticism that Saul has received recently has been ‘unfair’
Tuchel stressed that he is determined to get the best out of Saul at Chelsea.
He said: ‘It is why I protect myself and you can get carried away. I can only hope Saul does not read it and why should he? He knows what he needs to do to improve and he is doing everything.
‘He struggles at the moment and we are still trying to find the best version of him and will not stop pushing.’
During the game against Everton, Saul struggled with his positioning and was unable to prevent Jarrad Branthwaite from equalising for the visitors.
Saul endured a torrid time after coming on as a substitute for Chelsea against Everton
Saul’s spell at Chelsea got off to a terrible start as he was substituted at half time on his debut against Aston Villa in September and he is still waiting to establish himself as a regular starter in the team.
Chelsea have an option to sign Saul permanently once his loan expires, but it seems that his performances will have to be improve significantly if that is to be taken up.
There is still time for Saul to turn his situation at Chelsea around, but there is a possibility that the Blues could add to their midfield options in the January transfer window, which would push him further down the pecking order.
Last season Saul helped Atletico to win the LaLiga title, but although there is a possibility of him winning the Premier League with Chelsea this campaign he has much work to do in order to become a prominent part of the side.