Tim Sherwood claims Thomas Tuchel will provide Saul Niguez the platform to succeed at Chelsea, but the midfielder will also be under time pressure to prove himself.
Given Saul’s eagerness to learn English and bring his family over to London, it is safe to say that he is looking forward to extending his stay at Chelsea.
Chelsea have the option to sign the 26-year-old permanently for £30million (per Sky Sports) at the end of the season.
But unfortunately for Saul, his underwhelming start might deter Chelsea from activating the clause.
The Spain international’s Chelsea debut only lasted 45 minutes, before being replaced by Jorginho at half-time during the 3-0 win over Aston Villa earlier this month.
In his post-match interview, Tuchel did not hide that it was a “difficult” start for the on-loan Atletico Madrid star, but he also insisted that the midfielder only needed more time to adapt.
Sherwood expressed his admiration of Tuchel’s honesty and how he handled the situation.
“He [Tuchel] was out there, in the open,” Sherwood told Kelly and Wrighty Show (via Optus Sport) about Tuchel’s assessment on Saul’s debut.
“It’s not detrimental against Saul. It was glaringly obvious that he wasn’t up to speed with the Premier League.”
The former Tottenham manager also pointed out that it is unlikely that Saul would be able to get ahead of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, and Jorginho in the pecking order.
“But he [Tuchel] will find a way,” he added.
“He will give [Saul] the best chance to be a success.
“In the end, he [Saul] knows there’s a cut-off period. If he’s not doing it, they’ll just get rid of him. At Chelsea, [Tuchel] can do that.”
Obviously, Saul must have been aware of the possibility that Chelsea might decide against signing him permanently from the start.
But not only Kante, Jorginho, and Kovacic, Saul might also have to compete with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley in terms of playing opportunities.
Loftus-Cheek, in particular, certainly grabbed his chance to impress in the Carabao Cup third-round win over Villa.
While Saul showed encouraging signs of improvements in the same game, he still struggled to keep up with the pace, having lost possession 14 times in his 74-minute display.