Saul Niguez has no plans to cut short his loan stay at Chelsea, despite struggling for minutes since joining in the summer.
The midfielder, who arrived from Atletico Madrid, has managed just one two-minute cameo in the Premier League since his disappointing debut against Aston Villa in September, in which Saul struggled before being subbed off at the break.
His only starts since then have come in the Carabao Cup, with Saul seemingly down in the pecking order behind the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley – something even the most optimistic of Chelsea fan would hardly have seen coming when he signed.
Saul’s future has been the subject of a handful of reports on Monday. The Sun describe him as ‘frustrated’ and paint the situation as a problem for Thomas Tuchel, but The Telegraph believe things aren’t so challenging.
Tuchel is said to have reassured Saul that he will have a fair chance to prove himself once he is fully accustomed to English football, and the 26-year-old is happy to bide his time and wait for his opportunity.
There is some optimism that Saul’s chance could come during the international break. His lack of minutes has, understandably, seen him left out of the Spain squad, meaning he will remain at Chelsea to work with Tuchel.
He is one of just a handful of senior players to stay at the club, with fellow midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both away on international duty and Mateo Kovacic sidelined with an injury.
The plan is for Saul to work intensely with Tuchel and his coaches to better understand the demands of English football, after which the midfielder hopes to re-enter the first-team picture.
Saul is not looking to leave the club in January – a return to Atletico is not even believed to be financially viable – and he remains determined to become a success at Stamford Bridge before the season comes to an end.
Importantly, Tuchel has not given up on Saul either. He remains a big fan of the Spaniard, who he pushed to sign during the summer, and the hope is that the two-week break will give the pair the chance to make things work. 90mins