Tuchel defends Saul after criticism from fans

Thomas Tuchel has defended Saul Niguez amid criticism from Chelsea fans.

Saul has been substituted at half-time on both his Premier League starts for the Blues and failed to impress again when he came on as a substitute in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

The midfielder also ended up playing up front and at wing-back against Rafael Bentiez’s side and Blues boss Tuchel believes Saul has been unfairly targeted by frustrated fans.

“I will protect my players, always,” Tuchel said at a press conference ahead of today’s trip to Wolves.

“He played as a number six, a number nine and as a wing-back. Is that fair to him? No, it is not.

“This needs to be put into context and we have to have more of a moderate picture and moderate reaction.”

Many fans on social media were critical of Saul and other players, including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, after Thursday’s game.

But Tuchel said: “I understand people are disappointed but reactions like this are exactly the reasons why I do not involve myself in social media.

“He (Saul) knows what we think of him and what he has to do to improve – and he’s doing everything he can.

“He struggles in this moment but we are working to find the best version of him – and we will not stop pushing. “