Thomas Tuchel reveals why he removed Chelsea debutant Saul Niguez vs Aston Villa, takes responsibility for his dismal display

Thomas Tuchel has explained why he substituted Saul at half-time after he had a difficult first half and struggled to retain possession, giving the ball away on a few different occasions.

Tuchel suggested that Saul will have to get used to the intensity of the Premier League and that it was his call to put him straight in the starting XI so soon.

Tuchel later admitted that the Spaniard struggled.

The German said: “I had the feeling that he struggled. There were some big mistakes, passing mistakes, and he struggled with the intensity. You could see he isn’t fully adapted.

“It’s completely my responsibility. I had the feeling he could jump in for us and play at that level.

“I thought it was maybe better to change him, but it doesn’t change anything.

The German later added: “He struggled. I take the responsibility for that. I put him into a difficult match after a national break. It was hard for him to adapt to the physicality, and to the intensity and high pressing of Aston Villa. It was also a bit hard for him to adapt to our system and our principles.

“We thought to give a bit more stability to the centre to switch the shape to a 5-3-2 in the second half with Jorginho. It was a tough one, but I hope he accepts it is my responsibility. In training it looked like he had no problem to adapt, but it was training. The game was very intense yesterday, he had some easy ball losses so that’s why I thought before he loses more confidence I would take him off.”

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