Football

Chelsea boss tips Saul Niguez to handle culture shock of Premier League

Thomas Tuchel has tipped Saul Niguez to handle his Premier League culture shock and thrive at Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel has tipped Saul Niguez to handle his Premier League culture shock and thrive at Chelsea.

Atletico Madrid loan midfielder Saul was replaced at half-time during his difficult Blues debut, as Chelsea overwhelmed Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old failed to hit the pace of the game or find his rhythm, and was withdrawn by boss Tuchel after a string of errant passes.

German manager Tuchel insists Chelsea have total confidence in Saul realising his full potential in English football, once he settles into the Premier League swing.

“It takes maybe now a bit of time to get it off his shoulders but the good thing is he is of an age where he does not worry too much,” said Tuchel.

“He is self-confident and the good thing is everybody in the dressing room and in the club knows him very well and played many times against him.

“So there are no doubts. It just needs a bit of time and the best thing to react is what he did. He trains good and he trains with intensity and this will prepare him for the next time he is on the pitch for us.”

Romelu Lukaku’s brace and a neat finish from Mateo Kovacic proved enough for Chelsea to ease past Villa in west London on September 11.

Saul’s much-anticipated debut fell flat, however, with the Spain star unable to find his niche.

Jorginho’s arrival off the bench at the interval steadied Chelsea’s ship and helped the Blues step towards victory.

Chelsea will make the trip to Tottenham on Sunday with N’Golo Kante’s return to fitness another boost in defensive midfield.

Saul could be left to bide his time before his next Chelsea appearance, but Tuchel has no qualms about his quality or his character.

The Chelsea manager in fact revealed he and his players took the time to talk Saul through their very own early adaptations to the unique Premier League intensity.

“We have guys who experienced the same difficult start in the team, and this team is a very supportive team, so everybody shared their experiences also from their first matches in the Premier League,” said Tuchel.

“Me as a coach, the same. When I watched Premier League and was at the sideline in my first match against Wolverhampton this was another level of what I saw, and I had played already against Premier League teams in the Champions League.

“So if it comes up to you in every three days it is quite impressive and maybe a culture shock. We don’t doubt his quality and his ability to adapt.”

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