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Thomas Tuchel Insists Saul Niguez's Chelsea Arrival Was Not a Club Signing

Thomas Tuchel is adamant Saul Niguez's Chelsea arrival was a collective decision and not a club signing.

The 27-year-old was signed on a season-long loan in the final minutes of the summer transfer window as Chelsea clinched a deal for the Atletico Madrid midfielder with minutes to spare. 

But Saul found it difficult to adapt in the early days of his new life in the English capital, having a difficult debut against Aston Villa in September which saw him taken off at half-time. 

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He has made just six appearances for the Blues this season, with Ross Barkley even being preferred to the Spaniard at times. Since his league debut against Villa, Saul has played just two minutes in the league since, coming on against Newcastle at the end of October. 

Tuchel was asked about Saul's role in the squad and insisted his arrival was his and club's decision, and not just the board's. 

"A club signing? No, we don’t do this," responded Tuchel, as quoted by football.london. "Until now, we haven't done club signings and coach’s signings. We do signings because we decide together because we believe it’s a good pick and a good addition to the squad, and this was exactly the case."

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Jorginho (doubtful), Mateo Kovacic (hamstring) and N'Golo Kante (knee) could all miss the Watford trip on Wednesday, giving Saul the chance to get some rare top-flight minutes. 

"I think every single player needs his time to adapt and Saul needed his time," Tuchel added. "He competes with a lot of high-quality players in midfield. We needed to understand him a bit better, not in terms of language, but in terms what is his real strength, the detail of the player, what can he add to the squad, where is his maybe unique quality and it was not easy.

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"I guess it’s the first time he plays for another club than Atletico – he comes from the academy there – and we have to accept the style of the game is so different from Spain to here. It teaches us a lesson that everybody needs individual time to adapt and since many days he is stronger, I feel him a bit more relaxed and at the same time that gives him a little bit more freedom to impose his quality.

"He's very strong in finishing, in arriving in the box. In the moment, where we have injured players in the midfield, even Jorgi doubtful for tomorrow, it’s the moment for him to be ready. I have the feeling since many days that he is ready and can show what he wants to show."


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