Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel speaks out in defence of the much-criticised Saul

Saul is living a complicated moment at Chelsea according to a report in Diario AS. Since trading Atletico Madrid for London this summer he’s not been able to show his best self, and has failed to earn the trust of his coach Thomas Tuchel as of yet. But that doesn’t mean the German coach hasn’t defended him. He has.

“Does Saul feel the same as at Atletico, the same guy with the same role and responsibility?” Tuchel asked. “No, maybe not yet. Does he fight? Yes, he does fight. Is he the first player who’s found it tough to adapt to the Premier League? No, and he won’t be the last. We’ll protect our players. I’ll always protect my players. On Thursday he played as a number six, a number nine and a wing-back. Is that fair to him? No, it’s not.

“So this needs to be put into context and then we have to react more calmly. I understand people are disappointed after Thursday [when Chelsea drew with Everton] but reactions like this are exactly why I don’t get involved in social media.

“I protect myself because this is when people get carried away. I just hope Saul doesn’t read it either, and why should he? He knows what we think of him, he knows what he has to do to improve and he’s doing everything he can. He’s fighting at the moment, but we’re still working together to find the best version of him and we’re not going to stop pushing to achieve that.”

Chelsea started the season like a train, building on the momentum generated by their triumph of lifting last season’s Champions League in Porto. But their form has dropped in recent weeks. Things haven’t been clicking. They’re currently third in the Premier League, three points behind second-placed Liverpool and four behind pace-setters Manchester City. They’ve won just two of their last five and face Wolves this afternoon.

Saul joined Chelsea on loan this summer from Atletico, where he’d fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone and had become tired of being played out-of-position at left wing-back. The 27-year-old has featured for just 597 minutes so far this season across all competitions.

Tags Atletico Madrid Saul Thomas Tuchel