Culture shock

Thomas Tuchel advises Saul Niguez to deal with the culture shock of Premier League life

Thomas Tuchel has advised Saul Niguez to manage his culture shock in the Premier League and thrive at Chelsea.

On-loan Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul was substituted at half-time on his difficult debut for the Blues as Chelsea edged Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old failed to hit the game or find his rhythm, and was taken off by boss Tuchel after a series of errant passes.

German manager Tuchel insists Chelsea have full confidence in Saul fulfilling his full potential in English football, once he settles into the Premier League swing.

“It may take a bit of time now to get rid of it, but the good thing is that he’s at an age where he doesn’t worry too much,” Tuchel said.

“He has confidence in himself and the good thing is that everyone in the dressing room and in the club knows him very well and has played against him several times.

“So there is no doubt. He just needs a little time and the best thing to do is what he did. He is training well and he is training with intensity and that will prepare him for the next time he is on the pitch for us.

Romelu Lukaku’s brace and a neat finish from Mateo Kovacic were enough for Chelsea to move past Villa in west London on September 11.

Saul’s highly anticipated debut fell flat, however, with the Spanish star unable to find his footing.

Jorginho’s arrival on the bench in the interval stabilized Chelsea’s ship and helped the Blues to victory.

Chelsea travel to Tottenham on Sunday with the return to form of N’Golo Kante, another boost to defensive midfield.

Saul could be left biding his time before his next Chelsea appearance, but Tuchel has no qualms about his quality or character.

The Chelsea manager has in fact revealed that he and his players have taken the time to speak to Saul about their own early adaptations to the unique intensity of the Premier League.

“We have guys who had the same difficult beginnings in the team, and this team is a very close-knit team, so everyone has also shared their experiences from their first Premier League appearances,” Tuchel said.

“Me as a coach, the same. When I watched the Premier League and was on the sidelines in my first game against Wolverhampton, it was another level of what I saw, and I had played against Premier League teams before in the Champions League.

“So if it comes back to you every three days, that’s pretty impressive and maybe a culture shock. We have no doubts about its quality and adaptability.