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Thomas Tuchel could perform U-turn on 'Saul Niguez promise' to find Chelsea solution


Saul Niguez made a loan move to Chelsea in the summer looking to further himself as a midfielder but Thomas Tuchel could now use him as a wing-back as his struggles continue

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Thomas Tuchel previews Chelsea’s clash with West Ham

Thomas Tuchel could switch Saul Niguez to a wing-back role in an effort to get him performing at Chelsea, according to reports.

The Spaniard was handed just his second Premier League start in midweek but, just like his first outing, was hauled off at half-time.

Saul has struggled to adapt thus far with opportunities very much at a premium.

The 27-year-old is spending the season on loan from Atletico Madrid having been frustrated at being used as a wide player in the Spanish capital.

Tuchel ‘promised him prominence’ in the middle of the park, reports Mundo Deportivo, which was a major factor in Saul’s decision to move to Stamford Bridge.

Now though it appears as if the German coach could reverse that decision and use him as a wing-back.

The Chelsea boss admitted using the Spaniard out wide had crossed his mind, which will not come as welcome news to the loanee.

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Saul Niguez, once again, struggled to impose himself in a midfielder role before being subbed off

“I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options,” Tuchel said after taking Saul off against Watford.

“We could have taken 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.

“But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.”

Saul’s only other appearance came in a win over Aston Villa back in September.

During his first-half showing he often gave the ball away and was subbed off at the interval.

“It was a hard decision, but he was struggling, and I take the responsibility for that,” said Tuchel when quizzed on his decision at the time.

He also added: “It was also a bit hard for him to adapt to our system. So we thought to give a bit more stability and switch the shape to 5-3-2 in the second half with Jorginho.”






The loanee could now be used as a wing-back

Saul’s previous as a wing-back could yet prove to Tuchel’s advantage with Ben Chilwell set for a lengthy spell out.

The Englishman had established himself on the left but an injury sustained against Juventus will rule him out long-term with surgery necessary.

It leaves Alonso to deputise, but after that there are limited options for the Premier League title chasers.

Saul’s midfield task is also not made easy by the amount of players he has to usurp. N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic are all options in that department.

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