Thomas Tuchel’s comments could be cause for concern for Saúl Niguez after the Spaniard was left on the bench for Chelsea’s win over Southampton.
The Blues put a forgettable week behind them with a comfortable win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge over the weekend.
Goals from Trevoh Chalobah, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell got the job done for Chelsea, and they moved to the top of the Premier League table in the process.
The clash saw Ross Barkley make a first Premier League appearance of the season from the bench, and he impressed, too, playing a big part in the second goal.
But summer loan signing Saúl was left on the bench as an unused substitute for the duration, and Tuchel explained why after the game.
“He [Saul] was very, very close to [a] start,” Tuchel said in his post-match press conference.
“In the end I decided against him because I thought to put him in another high pressing match, against an opponent pressing so high in the centre of the pitch, would it be fair to say: ‘Okay, now prove it and let’s see if your adaption has gone further?’
“I hesitated a little bit. He does not need to worry. Just work hard and adapt and the chances will come.
“We have only 11 to give a chance. I would like to see it in a positive way. If you turn it around of course you have eight players who we didn’t trust today from the beginning.
“This is a reality. I cannot hide from this reality.”
That’s concerning for Saúl that he was not trusted against a team with an intensive press given some of Chelsea’s most important games of the season could be against similar styles of play.
The Spanish international must now prove to Tuchel that he has what it takes to get the ball out of his feet quickly and evade such presses.