Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel reveals how Saul Niguez can break into Chelsea first team

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Saul has endured a frustrating start to life in London
Saul has endured a frustrating start to life in London / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Saul Niguez's "time will come" at Chelsea, as long as the midfielder keeps working hard in training.

The deadline-day arrival from Atletico Madrid has endured a slow start to his Blues career, making just two appearances in all competitions so far. His only Premier League appearance to date came in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa, in which he was hauled off after the break after a bitterly disappointing 45 minutes.

He was again left on the bench as Chelsea secured a 3-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday, which sent them to the top of the Premier League table.

After that win, Tuchel revealed that Saul almost started the game, but the boss eventually admitted he was unsure whether the Spaniard was ready.

"Saul does not need to worry, just work hard, and then the chances will come," he said (via football.london).

‘We could only give 11 players the chance [to start], so of course that means we have eight players we didn't trust on Saturday from the beginning. I cannot hide from this reality and I will always do my choices in the best belief for the team and for these kinds of games.

"There will always be tactical choices, there will be choices on current form, there will be choices on connections on the field, and Saul was very, very close to starting on Saturday.

"In the end I decided against it because I thought if we put him in another high-pressing match, against an opponent who is pressing so high in the centre of the pitch, would it be fair to him to say 'okay now prove it, and let's see if your adaption has gone further', and I hesitated a little bit."

Due to a lack of playing time at club level, Saul was overlooked by Spain manager Luis Enrique for his side's upcoming UEFA Nations League matches.

He will be desperate to prove his worth after the international break and Tuchel added that he was expecting the midfielder to do exactly that over the coming months.

"It's life at Chelsea and we have to keep on going and keep everybody positive," he added. "The guys have to work for their form because performance is the most important, and form and confidence and positive attitude. Saul has everything. His time will come."

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