Chelsea midfielder Saul Niguez has revealed how Thiago Silva supported him following his struggles on debut for the Blues.
The 26-year-old, on loan from Atletico Madrid, made his first appearance in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa. Despite the result looking a fairly routine one on paper, it was anything but.
Romelu Lukaku may have given Chelsea the lead, but a barrage of Villa pressure followed.
What’s more, Saul created some of that pressure for his own team-mates. He gave the ball away on multiple occasions, allowing the away side chances.
Pundit Graeme Souness roasted Saul at half time. He also called for Blues boss Thomas Tuchel to take the Spaniard off at half time.
Tuchel did exactly that, but Saul has now revealed how centre-back Silva helped him to deal with the disappointment.
“After my poor performance in my first match, Thiago Silva in particular supported me a lot,” the midfielder told transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on Twitch.
“My first game with Chelsea was much worse, believe me and don’t worry.”
Jorginho replaced Saul at half time and the Blues went on to add two further goals. Lukaku added his second following Mateo Kovacic’s goal.
Tuchel said of Saul after the game: “It was hard to do, but I had the feeling that he struggled. He had some big mistakes, passing mistakes and errors. He struggled with the intensity.
“You could see that he’s not fully adapted, I think this is completely my responsibility, I thought he could just jump in and play for us on this level.
“I thought it was better to have Jorginho, who has a close connection with Thiago [Silva] to control the game a bit more there.”
Chelsea star’s transfer links continue
Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger’s future at Chelsea remains uncertain.
The German centre-back has less than a year on his contract and will be free to talk to overseas clubs about a pre-contract agreement from January onwards.
Paris Saint-Germain, who signed a host of high-profile free agents this summer, are reportedly monitoring his situation.
According to another report, though, Tottenham could sign him.