Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has suggested he may use loanee Saul Niguez out of position as he looks to get the best out of the struggling Spaniard.
Saul made only his second Premier League start since arriving from Atletico Madrid in the midweek victory over Watford, but he suffered the same fate as his debut when he was hooked at half-time.
The 26-year-old had toiled in central midfield alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the Hornets deployed an intense press that really unsettled Chelsea throughout the encounter, and having been booked during the first period Tuchel saw fit to substitute him at the break.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing West Ham on Saturday, the German was asked about how Saul could get back into the team after another opportunity passed him by and spoke about the possibility of playing him out wide.
“Saul had the early yellow card and was a bit shy to play all-in in the duels and for that he lacked a bit of his physicality, because he did not want to risk a red card which was a good thing on that evening not to be one man down,” Tuchel said.
“I think that he could play in a wing-back role for us, even if we play a dominant and offensive game because he’s very strong in arriving the opponents’ box, very strong at finishing, and has good timing to arrive at the second post with his head.
“We sometimes do this in training, that’s why we have the impression that he could maybe be a good fit and maybe in the next games we have to try this, because Ben Chilwell is out long-term and a lot of games are coming and we can maybe not put every game on Marcos Alonso’s shoulders.”
Ironically, Saul has previously revealed that one of the main reasons he left Atletico Madrid was because he was often being played out of position on the left or right by manager Diego Simeone.
However, it seems he may have to make the same sacrifice if he wants to resurrect his underwhelming spell at Stamford Bridge.