Saul is substituted at half-time AGAIN for Chelsea

Saul Niguez is substituted at half-time AGAIN as his nightmare Chelsea loan continues – although Thomas Tuchel insists choice to remove midfielder in his second league start at Watford was a ‘tactical decision’ with Spaniard on a yellow card

  • Saul Niguez was subbed at half-time for the second time in as many league starts
  • Midfielder on loan from Atletico Madrid has endured a poor start at the Bridge
  • He has only appeared in three Premier League games for the Blues so far 
  • Boss Thomas Tuchel remains coy over his future at the west London outfit 

Saul Niguez’s nightmare loan spell at Chelsea took another turn for the worst after being subbed at half-time for the second time in as many league starts for the club.

The midfielder arrived in the summer from Atletico Madrid and an error strewn performance on his debut against Aston Villa in September led to him being replaced at the break.

In the following nine Premier League games he was only given two minutes in a victory at Newcastle United, before being handed another first-team opportunity at Watford.

Saul Niguez has endured a tough start to his Chelsea career on loan from Atletico Madrid

On just his second Premier League start at Watford, Saul (17) was substituted again at half-time

With Jorginho not fit enough to start, the 27-year-old failed to make the most of his chance, with Watford enjoying more of the game at Vicarage Road, and Emmanuel Dennis having equalised following Mason Mount’s opener.

Saul was withdrawn at the break for centre-back Thiago Silva and although the Blues barely improved, they still managed to ground out victory through a second half Haikim Ziyech strike.

Despite Saul’s struggles appearing to continue, manager Thomas Tuchel insists the decision to bring the Spaniard was off purely a tactical one.

But Tuchel was also coy when he was quizzed on Saul’s future. 

Saul joined Chelsea on loan in the summer from Atletico Madrid but he has struggled to make any impact at Stamford Bridge

Manager Thomas Tuchel is now coy over the midfielder’s future in west London

He said: ‘I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options – take Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back.

‘I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos. I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.

‘Having Trevoh [Chalobah] on the six who is more physical – unfortunately Trevoh injured himself and we ended up with Ruben on the single six. It was a tactical decision.’

As well as his Premier League appearances, Saul has also featured in a couple of cameo performances in the second half during comfortable 4-0 Champions League wins over Malmo and Juventus, while he also started in Carabao Cup victories over Aston Villa and Southampton. 

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