‘I am happy’: Thomas Tuchel sends message to Chelsea FC fans about Saul Niguez
Thomas Tuchel has his say on Saul Niguez's performance during Chelsea FC's League Cup win over Southampton
Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he was pleased by Saul Niguez’s performance after the Spaniard played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea FC’s League Cup win over Southampton on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old midfielder has struggled to make much of an impact since his move to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid on loan for the season in the summer.
Indeed, Saul has only played in one Premier League game so far this term, when he was hauled off at half-time during the 3-0 win over Aston Villa back in September.
The Spaniard has featured in the cup competitions though, and he has made four appearances in total for the south west London side since his switch.
Saul helped Chelsea FC to book their place in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night as the Blues sealed a penalty shootout win over Southampton following a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
And Tuchel has revealed that he was pleased by the Spaniard’s showing as the midfielder continues to settle into life in the Premier League.
Speaking to Chelsea TV after Tuesday’s game, Tuchel said of Saul’s display: “It was a good match, it was a huge step in the right direction for him.
“I am happy. We thought maybe he would be struggling with the intensity and thought about [substituting him after] 70 minutes, 75 [minutes], but he got better and better, had chances and shots.
“We thought let’s keep him [on the pitch] and give him the minutes. It was a good step for him.”
Tuchel also singled out Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for special praise after he saved Theo Walcott’s penalty in the shootout to help the Blues progress to the last eight.
“He produces,” Tuchel said of Kepa. “He is full of confidence. He has this experience now with us, and he has done it again and again.
“Just because you win a penalty shoot-out, does not mean you will do it again. Full credit to him. It’s a special thing in football and we were again concentrated and calm. Kepa was a big part of that.”
Chelsea FC will return to Premier League action on Saturday when they travel to take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park.