Thomas Tuchel said he is very happy with the midfield options he has at his disposal at Chelsea, including the two “alternatives” options.
The main three choices are obviously N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic whom Tuchel has heavily relied on since he took over at the club last year.
Tuchel said these three are “so, so different” from each other, which only makes it easier to field two of them together on the pitch.
Unfortunately, the German has not been able to always field at least two of them as was the case in November and December, in particular.
This is where the two other options come into play — and Tuchel is also clearly happy with these backup options.
“Now we have Saul [Niguez] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] as alternatives — they are doing very, very good,” Tuchel told Chelsea TV.
“Saul stepped up in the last games, [while] Ruben was already with a lot of minutes in the first half of the season, doing very good and helping us out when Kova and NG were both missing for many weeks.
“It’s a very important part of the game, and it’s nice to have players [with] this quality.”
Now that the main three guys are fit and ready to play, it becomes more difficult for Saul and Loftus-Cheek to get minutes on the pitch.
In spite of that, Tuchel has recently insisted that Loftus-Cheek has no reason to consider a January loan exit.
Given N’Golo Kante’s recent injury record and constant risks of Covid-19 absences, the manager understandably wants to keep as many players as he can in the squad.
The Blues are also still competing in five competitions, including the Club World Cup in February, and both Saul and Loftus-Cheek will likely have plenty of opportunities to play.