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Chelsea signed Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day to bolster the club’s midfield.
The Blues paid a loan fee of around £3.5m for the 26-year-old, and the club has the option to make the move permanent for £30m.
However, Saul has so far been far from impressive. His debut game against Aston Villa was very underwhelming, and he has featured just once since then – a League Cup game against the same opponents and his performance in that game was average.
The midfield position in the Chelsea team is now getting more competitive, as the duo of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley have been impressing, with Loftus-Cheek now becoming a vital player for the Blues.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel already has a mainstay of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante in his midfield, and the addition of Loftus-Cheek and Barkley seems to have made Saul 6th choice at the moment.
Chelsea also have Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher out on loan, and they seem to be the future in the central midfield position. This has now brought Saul’s future into doubt.
According to a report by Caught Offside (citing Spanish outlet Todofichajes), they claim that Tuchel and Chelsea have already decided against triggering the option to permanently buy Saul Niguez.
Saul still has time to impress the Blues boss, although the competition is very intense at the moment.
Tuchel admitted after the Southampton game that he almost started Saul but changed his mind. He also urged the Spaniard to up his game.
“He does not need to worry. Just work hard and adapt and the chances will come,” Tuchel said of Saul.
“We have only 11 to give a chance. I would like to see it in a positive way.
“If you turn it around of course you have eight players who we didn’t trust today from the beginning. This is a reality. I cannot hide from this reality.
“I will always do my choices in the best belief for the team and best belief in this moment and for these type of games. There will always be tactical choices and choices of current form and of connections on the field.
“Particularly about Saul, he was very, very close to start today. In the end I decided against him because I thought to put him in another high pressing match, an opponent pressing so high in the centre of the pitch, would it be fair to say “okay, now prove it and let’s see if your adaption has gone further” and I hesitated a little bit.”