Chelsea News

Thomas Tuchel Admits Saul Niguez Made "Big Mistakes" in Chelsea Debut

By Amreen
Niguez was substituted at half-time after a difficult first-half
Niguez was substituted at half-time after a difficult first-half / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Saul Niguez made "big mistakes" during his Chelsea debut but insisted that the blame for starting the Spaniard was entirely his.

Saul, who joined on transfer deadline day on loan from Atletico Madrid, did not train in pre-season with the Blues, and Tuchel admitted he thought the midfielder would be able to adapt right away to the Premier League and Chelsea's style of play.

"I had the feeling that he struggled," Tuchel told Sky Sports. "There were some big mistakes, passing mistakes, and he struggled with the intensity. You could see he isn’t fully adapted.

"It's completely my responsibility. I had the feeling he could jump in for us and play at that level. I [then] thought it was maybe better to change him, but it doesn’t change anything [about how I see him]."

The head coach later added: "It's very hard. You can either do it or not do it. I told him before it was my responsibility if it does not work out for the matter of your life. He struggled a bit, created some half-chances for Aston Villa."

Saul, however, said he was happy to have made his Chelsea debut despite being replaced at half-time. He wrote on Instagram: "Wasn’t the expected debut. Really happy with my first game and victory with the team. Incredible to see Stamford Bridge full of Blues."

The 26-year-old was dispossessed three times in just 45 minutes as he struggled to find his feet, but Saul will likely continue to get plenty of chances to prove himself as Chelsea navigate a congested playing schedule.