Burley has ripped into Chelsea’s Saul
Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has slammed Saul Niguez for his performances for the club so far. The Spaniard has failed to adapt to the Premier League and has been poor in all the games he’s played for the Blues this season.
Saul was signed on loan from Atletico Madrid during the summer amidst much fanfare, but the midfielder has not had any impact since joining Chelsea. Former Chelsea player Craig Burley took aim at the Spaniard while lambasting the Blues’ for their performance in the 1-1 draw against Brighton in midweek. Speaking to ESPN, he said:
“I was just looking at the bench today in this covid hit Christmas period. Kepa, Marcos Alonso – who came on – N’Golo Kante, (Trevoh) Chalobah – who’s played well – Saul – who’s been a waste of space since he came in from Spain – Ross Barkley – not a bad squad player – Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. Am I missing something? Where is that lack of squad depth? Lost (Ben) Chilwell to injury as well. You can add players on to that. Ruben Loftus-Cheek.”
While the criticism might be harsh, it’s fair to say that Saul has not been a successful signing for the Blues. The Spaniard has been hooked at half-time in both of his Premier League starts this campaign and has only made five league appearances so far this season. Chelsea will hope the midfielder picks up his performances during the second half of the season.
“He is doing everything” – Chelsea boss Tuchel on Saul
Saul in action for Chelsea
Earlier this month, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel came to the defense of Saul following his underwhelming cameo in the 1-1 draw against Everton. He said:
“Does [Saul] feel that he is in the same role and responsibility as he had at Atletico? No, maybe not yet. Does he struggle? Yes, he struggles. Was he the first player to struggle in the Premier League? No and he won’t be the last one. We protect our players and I will protect our players always. He played yesterday as a No.6, No.9 and as a wing-back.”
Tuchel was also asked about the backlash from fans, who have taken to social media to slander the Spaniard because of his poor performances for Chelsea so far. He said:
“Is that fair to him? No, also it is not. Put it into context and you will have a more moderate picture and reaction. I understand people are disappointed after yesterday but reactions like this are the reasons why I am not involved on social media. It is why I protect myself and you can get carried away. “”I can only hope Saul does not read it and why should he? He knows what he needs to do to improve and he is doing everything. He struggles at the moment and we are still trying to find the best version of him and will not stop pushing.”