Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hinted Saul Niguez could be deployed as a left-wing-back in the future, after the Spanish midfielder struggled at central midfield for the Blues yet again.
The Atletico Madrid loanee was hooked at half-time during Chelsea’s narrow 2-1 away victory against Watford.
It was the second time the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund manager substituted Saul at half-time, after cutting his debut short during the reigning Champions League holders' 3-0 home win against Aston Villa in September.
Saul has struggled immensely since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Atletico in the closing stages of the summer transfer window.
And it appears Tuchel has lost patience with the Spaniard’s displays at central midfield, and could be willing to instead field him as a makeshift left-wing-back to cover for the injured Ben Chilwell.
“I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options,” Tuchel said after the win over Claudio Ranieri’s side.
“We could have taken Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back.
“I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos.
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“But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising."
Chelsea started very poorly at Vicarage Road, and Tuchel ensured his side new all about their slack beginning when the teams were sent to the dressing room for 30 minutes, after a supporter suffered a cardiac arrest in the stands.
Despite the wobbly opening exchanges, Mason Mount slotted the Blues into the lead after some unselfish play from Kai Havertz.
In form Watford star Emmanuel Dennis equalised proceedings with his sixth goal of the season just before half-time; sliding the ball through Antonio Rudiger’s legs and past a non-plussed Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
However, the Blues stole all three points, after Hakim Ziyech added the final flourish to a rare free-flowing Chelsea attack to secure a vital victory for the Blues.
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