Thomas Tuchel admits he's not been fair to Saul as boss responds to fed-up Chelsea fans

CHELSEA midfielder Saul Niguez has been a bit-part player since he moved to Stamford Bridge on loan.


Posted Sunday, December 19, 2021 by Express.co.uk

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits he hasn't been fair to Saul Niguez. The versatile midfielder arrived at Stamford Bridge on loan from Atletico Madrid in August but has failed to impress in England and has come under fire for a series of dismal displays.

Saul was in action for the Blues on Thursday night as he came off the bench during their 1-1 draw with Everton.

The 27-year-old was woeful throughout his 25-minute cameo as he played in a number of positions.

He failed to hold the ball up in attack, gave away possession in midfield and saw a cross sail over the crossbar.

The Spain international was even at fault for Everton's equaliser as he failed to head away a free-kick before Jarrad Branthwaite connected to turn the ball into the back of the net.

Chelsea fans were livid with the player's performance, with some on social media calling for him to leave the club immediately.

Thomas Tuchel admits he's not been fair to Saul as boss responds to fed-up Chelsea fans
Chelsea midfielder Saul Niguez was woeful against Everton

But Tuchel was quick to jump to Saul's defence, insisting he must take blame for the player's struggles.

“We will protect our players,” Tuchel said ahead of his side's trip to Wolves on Sunday. “I will protect my players - always.

“On Thursday, he played as a number six, as a number nine and as a wing-back. Is that fair to him? No, it is not.

“This needs to be put into context and we have to have more of a moderate picture – and a more moderate reaction.

“I understand people are disappointed after Thursday. But reactions like this are exactly the reasons why I do not involve myself in social media.

“I protect myself because this is when it can get carried away. And I only hope that Saul does not read it because why should he.

“He knows what we think of him and what he has to do to improve - and he's doing everything he can.

“He struggles in this moment but we still are working to find the best version of him - and we will not stop pushing.

“Does Saul feel the same guy as at Atletico, with the same role and responsibility? No, maybe not yet.

“Does he struggle? Yes. Is he the first to struggle coming to the Premier League? No. And he will not be the last.”

Tuchel will be without a string of star players on Sunday after his squad were hit by a wave of coronavirus cases ahead of their clash with Everton.

So the German boss could once again call on Saul as Chelsea look to keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.



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