Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Saul Niguez still needs time to adapt and adjust to the rigours of English football but still believes in what the midfielder can offer the club. The Spaniard signed for the Blues on loan for the remainder of the season from Atletico Madrid.
With Saul Niguez signing for Chelsea on deadline day, it had many fans believing that the Blues’ squad was about as close to perfect as they could get. And many fans were even happier after the Spaniard made his debut against Aston Villa in the first weekend after the international break. But things didn’t go exactly according to plan with Niguez struggling to adapt to the intense pressure that Dean Smith's side put on him.
It saw the midfielder replaced at half-time and the Spaniard’s performance in the opening 45 minutes shocked many as he looked well off the pace. But Thomas Tuchel admitted that the 26-year-old hasn’t quite adapted yet to his new climate and team which is why he looked off the pace. The German boss also added that it’s completely his responsibility as he believed Saul was ready to play from the get go.
"I had the feeling that he (Saul Niguez) struggled. 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]," Tuchel told Sky Sports
"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."