What next for Saul Niguez: Chelsea career already in doubt after woeful start to Premier League life

Asia's Tech News Daily

What next for Saul Niguez: Chelsea career already in doubt after woeful start to Premier League life
© Chelsea FC via Getty Images saulniguezchelsea.jpg

Where does Saul Niguez go from here?

It was the question put to Thomas Tuchel after the Spain midfielder was substituted at half time in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Watford on Wednesday night.

Saul looked horribly out of his depth, off the pace and out of confidence by the time the teams headed for the tunnel at the break.

He was in good company, with Tuchel heavily critical of the Premier League leaders afterwards – claiming they “stole” the points curtesy of substitute Hakim Ziyech’s second half winner.

But for Saul it felt like more than just a bad night at the office.

The large majority of Tuchel’s squad have plenty of credit in the bank after winning the Champions League last season and topping the table three months into the current campaign.

That they were out of sorts at Vicarage Road will be treated as an aberration and due, in no small part, to a host of changes forced on the manager.

But the absence of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic provided Saul with an opportunity to finally kick start his Chelsea career after his deadline day move from Atletico Madrid.

Instead, it raised further questions about why he was added to the squad – particularly when Conor Gallagher is performing so impressively on loan at Crystal Palace and Billy Gilmour was sent to Norwich for the season.

“I don’t know where he goes from this performance,” said Tuchel. “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 (who went off) to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.

“It was a tactical decision.”

Tactical, maybe, but the fact Trevoh Chalobah was moved from centre back to midfield to accommodate Silva spoke volumes.

Chelsea were being overrun in midfield, while their use of ball was particularly wasteful in that first half.

Saul managed just nine passes in the first half, two tackles and was twice dispossessed.

At no point did he stamp his authority on the game – and while the rest of the Chelsea team could be accused of failing to cope with the intensity of Watford, in the case of the 27-year-old, it was even more pronounced.

In a week when Tuchel felt the need to refute suggestions that the midfielder had been a club signing, rather than a player he had wanted to add to his squad, this was a performance that makes his move look even more curious.

What next for Saul Niguez: Chelsea career already in doubt after woeful start to Premier League life
© Provided by Evening Standard (Action Images via Reuters)

Saul, himself, is determined to make the loan work – and had hoped a return to his best form would secure a permanent deal.

Instead it is hard to see how much more involvement he will have until now and the end of the season, unless Chelsea are struck by a raft of injuries.

He has already been overtaken by Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the midfield pecking order, with Ross Barkley trusted ahead of him on other occasions before Wednesday night.

Those two players would have been allowed to leave the club in the summer if suitable offers had come in – which only underlines Saul’s failure to establish himself.

The only realistic option for the former Spain international is an early return to Atletico, but it remains to be seen if they would even be in a position to take him back, having loaned him out to offset the cost of Antoine Griezmann.

Saul has already played for two clubs this season – meaning a loan move elsewhere is off the cards due to UEFA rules.

Tuchel has started him just twice in the league and on both occasions been forced to haul him off at half time.

For his debut against Aston Villa in September, the Chelsea manager took the blame, claiming it was too soon to throw him in the action less than two weeks after his arrival.

“I put him into a difficult match after a national break, and it was hard to adapt to the physicality and in general for him, intensity and high pressing,” he said at the time.

It has taken another two and a half months for him to be handed his next Premier League start and once again the intensity of the English game proved too much.

If Villa and Watford are too much for Saul to handle, when will Tuchel feel comfortable starting him again?

Unlikely against West Ham on Saturday – even if Kante and Kovacic are ruled out again.

Jorginho’s place on the bench at Vicarage Road indicates he will be ready to resume his place, most likely alongside Loftus-Cheek.

But Saul was signed to help take the strain of Kante and provide Chelsea with another top-class option in an already strong midfield.

By this stage he was expected to be pushing to start the biggest games, regardless of the length of Tuchel’s injury list.

It is safe to say his move has not worked out as anyone would have liked.

Register now for one of the Evening Standard’s newsletters. From a daily news briefing to Homes & Property insights, plus lifestyle, going out, offers and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

UAE weather today: dry start to week after weekend rainfall

© Provided by The National The weather today will be dusty and partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Sarah Dea/The National The UAE enjoyed a dry start to the ... Read more »

The Love Songs of WEB Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers review – desires of the downtrodden

The author Zora Neale Hurston once joked: “I am the only negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief.” In part, Hurston ... Read more »

Tens of thousands without power as winter storm sweeps through south-east of US

Tens of thousands were left without power when a winter storm made up of ice, high winds and snow battered the south-east of the US. Governors of Georgia, Virginia, North ... Read more »

New law declares Carcar City a heritage zone

President Rodrigo Duterte enacted into law a measure declaring Carcar City in Cebu a heritage zone. Signed by the Chief Executive on January 14, 2022, Republic Act 11644 ensures “the ... Read more »

Sara Duterte-Carpio asks supporters: Let's pray with Bongbong Marcos

© Philippines Daily Inquirer MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked her supporters to offer prayers for her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who ... Read more »

What should I do about the gaps in my state pension record that the official website says it is still 'checking'? Steve Webb replies

I’ve been on the Government gateway site for a few years now, to check my state pension. I have a few years that say ‘you didn’t pay enough National Insurance ... Read more »

China cuts rates as economy slows; Credit Suisse chairman resigns over Covid-19 breaches – business live

LIVE – Updated at 07:34 Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news. Horta-Osório regrets ‘difficulties’ following personal actions 07:34 Antonio Horta-Osório, who is well-known in the UK following ... Read more »

We want to keep our current flat as a buy-to-let investment and move to a new home: Do we need to pay the second home stamp duty surcharge?

My wife and I are in the process of buying a new home, but are struggling to sell our current flat.  Instead of taking another 10 per cent off the ... Read more »

‘Christmas was awful': on the Omicron frontline at the Royal Preston hospital

After nearly two years on the Covid frontline, there is one image that haunts Prof Mohammed Munavvar. It is of a visit to Preston cemetery, where a friend had been ... Read more »

Covid booster jabs rolled out to eligible 12 to 15-years-olds from Monday

Clinically vulnerable 12 to 15-years-olds who are most at risk from coronavirus will be able to get their Covid booster jab from Monday. © PA Wire Boosters Around 500 children ... Read more »

Son of missing woman asks federal government for help finding her

Sue Borries’ son, Brandon, has pleaded with the federal government for help in tracking the missing teacher down. Brandon Borries Brandon Borries’ mother has been missing since she was involved ... Read more »

‘I have no intention of getting infected': understanding Omicron's severity

Leaders in the US have struck a pessimistic tone about the Covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks amid rapid spread of the Omicron variant. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Étienne ... Read more »

Thibaut Courtois hailed as ‘world's best goalkeeper' after magnificent penalty save v Athletic Bilbao

Is Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois currently the world’s best goalkeeper? The Belgium international, 29, has been outstanding for Los Blancos over the past couple of seasons and played a key ... Read more »

IPL 2022: Will Shreyas Iyer captain Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore this season?

© Provided by Zee News Former Delhi Capitals and Mumbai batter Shreyas Iyer made a sensational debut in Test cricket against New Zealand last year. Iyer was extremely unlucky not ... Read more »

Warzone players discover new premium skin is making them miss

© Provided by Dot Esports Over the weekend, Call of Duty players have been encountering some in-game issues that are causing them to miss their shots despite being perfectly aimed. ... Read more »

Celebrity birthdays for Jan. 17

Celebrity Birthdays for Jan. 17:   Actor James Earl Jones is 91. Talk show host Maury Povich is 83. Singer Chris Montez is 80. French singer-songwriter Francoise Hardy is 78. Singer ... Read more »

Portsmouth man makes transfer claim

© Provided by Football League World World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group E – Wales v Belgium Portsmouth midfielder Joe Morrell has told The News that both he and ... Read more »

RAPO19 titled The Warrior: Ram Pothineni dons cop avatar in the intense first look

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ram Pothineni will next be seen in an action entertainer, tentatively called RAPO19. This much-awaited project, which is being helmed by filmmaker N Lingusamy has been ... Read more »

London transport: Hundreds more trains cut over staff shortages because of Covid

Hundreds more daily train services, including tens from London, are being cut next week over pandemic-related staff shortages. Avanti West Coast, c2c, East Midlands Railway and South Western Railway are ... Read more »

International Hot and Spicy Day: These foods can help burn calories

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Each year on January 16, International Hot and Spicy Food Day celebrates all the delicious hot and spicy foods around the world. Every country ... Read more »

‘West Side Story' star Ariana DeBose makes ‘SNL' hosting debut

“It is great to be here representing not only the Latino community as an Afro-Latina, but also the Broadway community,” DeBose said during her opening monologue Ariana DeBose’s stardom continues ... Read more »

Tonga volcano: Second underwater eruption detected sparking fresh tsunami fears

Another huge eruption has struck Tonga’s underwater volcano that had already exploded in a blast that was visible from space, say reports. And fears are growing over a missing British ... Read more »

Virals: Liverpool interested in RB Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku

© Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport VfB Stuttgart v RB Leipzig – Bundesliga Liverpool have reportedly identified RB Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku as the ‘perfect solution’ to replace Sadio Mane in the ... Read more »

Leigh Griffiths and his multiple Celtic mistakes as Kris Commons lifts lid on striker's fall from grace

Former Celtic star Kris Commons believes Leigh Griffiths is now paying the price for failing to live the life of an elite football player. The 31-year-old’s career at Parkhead is ... Read more »

No ‘Sacred Games 3': Anurag Kashyap Slams Scamster Casting 'Females Okay With Bold Scenes'

© Provided by MensXP After the huge success of Sacred Games, the Netflix series returned with its second season in 2019. Sacred Games 2 received a mixed response from viewers ... Read more »

Pundit lauds 'absolutely outstanding' West Ham ace Jarrod Bowen

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Sport West Ham United v Leeds United – Premier League West Ham may have succumbed to a damaging 3-2 defeat at the hands of Leeds United ... Read more »

JSE could start week positively after drop as oil rallies

© Provided by Business Live The JSE could rebound on Monday after the all share index dropped 1% on Friday, catching its breath after record highs. Brent crude traded at ... Read more »

Allu Arjun's heartwarming reaction to Kamal Haasan watching 'Pushpa: The Rise' goes viral

© Provided by DNA After emerging as the highest-grossing film in India in 2021, the Telugu blockbuster ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ continues to amaze stars and celebrities across India. Arjun Kapoor, ... Read more »

KZN police trying to find motive behind drive-by shooting that left six dead

© SAPS. FILE: JOHANNESBURG – KwaZulu-Natal authorities are still trying to establish the motive behind a drive-by shooting in the province in which six young men were killed. Police said ... Read more »

Alia Bhatt and Shaheen Bhatt 'beam' with joy in THIS sunkissed photo

© Provided by Pinkvilla Alia Bhatt is not only a superb actress but also a protective sister when it comes to Shaheen Bhatt. Their pictures on social media often give ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Shamita Shetty, Nishant Bhat and others get emotional as Rajiv Adatia unveils family messages

© Provided by Jagran English New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Bigg Boss 15 viewers are going to witness an emotional episode tonight as the contestants are going to get ... Read more »

Leicester's Steve Borthwick: 'Jack Carty was incredible. He is a fantastic player'

THERE WERE TIMES on Saturday, as Steve Borthwick analysed his side’s win over Connacht, when he sounded like a sales rep for Failté Ireland as much as a rugby coach. ... Read more »

Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman

It seemed that Joe Biden would be bad for business in “Make America great again” world. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Reuters/Alamy In theory, the US president, a white ... Read more »

Beijing faces major test as first Omicron case detected weeks before Olympics

At an office building in China’s capital on Sunday, Covid control personnel lugged boxes of pillows and bedding through the closely guarded entrance for workers stuck inside, preparing for what ... Read more »

Fünf Fragen zum Abgang von António Horta-Osório und zur Wahl von Axel Lehmann

Der rasche Führungswechsel bei der Credit Suisse lässt viele Fragen offen. Die drängendste lautet: Was lief eigentlich hinter den Kulissen?   Ab sofort ist Axel Lehmann neuer Präsident  der Credit ... Read more »

3 Major Takeaways From ONE: HEAVY HITTERS

© ONE Championship Saygid Izagakhmaev defeated James Nakashima at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS. ONE: HEAVY HITTERS set the tone for 2022 with a phenomenal eight-bout card live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium ... Read more »

MRS diiktiraf badan pelesenan muzik rasmi di Sabah, kata menteri

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Alexander Nanta Linggi ketika berucap pada Majlis Apresiasi Kepenggunaan Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna di Kota Kinabalu, malam tadi. KOTA KINABALU: ... Read more »

Former Lloyds boss Horta-Osorio quits Credit Suisse after investigation

© PA Archive IoD Convention The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has stepped down as chairman of Credit Suisse after less than 12 months following an investigation into his ... Read more »

Pacific volcano: Daughter describes ‘helpless' wait for news of parents after Tonga tsunami

A woman unable to contact her parents after a volcano erupted near Tonga has called it “one of the toughest moments” of her life. Siniva Filise, 42, who lives in ... Read more »

Philippines dismisses bid to bar Marcos Jr from presidential race

© Provided by Al Jazeera The elections commission has dismissed the first of at least six petitions seeking to bar Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos from running for the presidency [File: Romeo ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic