Saul Niguez had a Chelsea debut to forget on Saturday evening, after being taken off at half time of their game against Aston Villa.
Saul was a deadline day signing for the Blues from Atletico Madrid, after a summer that had only really seen them add Romelu Lukaku to the first team.
The signing was taken down to the wire, with the Spain midfielder signed just three minutes before the window shut, after Atleti’s move for Antoine Griezmann back from Barcelona was made.
With N’Golo Kante out injured and Jorginho back from international duty with Italy, Saul was given his debut against Villa from the start.
However things didn’t go too well for the Blues in the first half, despite Lukaku giving them the lead, and the new man in midfield had a particularly bad time, giving the ball away with wayward passes, not being forward thinking enough and making some poor touches, as his personal ‘highlight reel’ shows.
The 26-year-old didn’t reappear for the European champions after the half-time break, with Jorginho coming on in his place for the second half.
Things did improve for Thomas Tuchel’s team after the break, although they were helped by Tyrone Mings, as they went on to win 3-0.
Chelsea showed more control in the second half, even though Dean Smith’s men still had chances, and after the game the manager was asked about his new signing coming off after just 45 minutes.
“He had some big mistakes, passing mistakes and errors,” Tuchel told Sky Sports after the game.
“He struggled with the intensity and you could see that he is not fully adapted.
“This is completely my responsibility. I thought he could jump in and play for us on that level.”
“I had a feeling he struggled, he had some big mistakes” 😳
Thomas Tuchel believes Saul Niguez needs time to adapt to the Premier League and his style of play 📊 pic.twitter.com/oSkqSrVt8C
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 11, 2021
Saul had previously revealed that he’d left the Spanish capital to move to London after feeling he was being pushed out of the club because he wasn’t being allowed to play in his favoured position.
The La Liga winner was also linked with other Premier League clubs in the summer and some Liverpool fans clearly were grateful it wasn’t their club who signed him after his performance against Villa.
Early days, but seems like whoever vetoed that Saul loan move at LFC has played a blinder.
— future champions of england (@RevivedDanny) September 11, 2021
We might of dodged a bullet on this Saul guy uno
— 𝕋𝕠𝕓𝕪 ⚡️ (@LFCToby3) September 11, 2021
Saul has a shocker. Maybe Klopp knows best. Who’d of thought it?
— Liverpool FC (Tim) (@LFC__LFC) September 11, 2021
It would be foolish to write Saul off just yet, but it certainly doesn’t take away from the fact that life in the Premier League hasn’t started that well for him.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports