Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has a very tricky decision to think about during the international break, writes the Football London.
The Blues, who are still unbeaten after three matches in the Premier League so far this season, completed their third and final signing on transfer deadline day with Saul Niguez arriving from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal.
The 26-year-old is an energetic and technically brilliant central midfielder, and, by his own admission, is more of a box-to-box player rather than focusing on solely defending or attacking.
Saul said this to Chelsea’s official website earlier in the week: “I am a team player. I always play for the team.
“I could define myself as a box-to-box midfielder. I like joining the attack and to score goals but also defending when needed.
“I think it’s really important in order for me to feel comfortable on the pitch and to deliver for Chelsea.”
But the question has to be raised: Where does Saul fit into this current Chelsea team?
Tuchel already has arguably the best midfielder in world football in N’Golo Kante at his disposal, and while the France international is fit and available, he is surely undroppable in the Chelsea XI.
If the Blues boss opts to go for a 3-4-2-1 formation, like he did in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, then that leaves just one more space beside Kante.
Jorginho, who is in genuine contention for this year’s Ballon d’Or award, could be the man to make way for Saul.
With Saul coming in on a season-long loan deal, it does not make the most sense for him to arrive and be a bit-part player under Tuchel. The temporary move suggests he will be crucial in the German’s thinking.
However, to accommodate the Spanish midfielder, Tuchel may have to put Jorginho on the bench, someone he recently described as a “very, very important player” to the Chelsea team.
“He’s in love with this game and this is the feeling he transports in the first minute and he never stops transmitting this energy that he’s really into the game and thinking about tactics and loves to be involved and feel a true connection with the game and such a positive guy,” the Blues manager said last month on the Italy international.
“That makes him a very, very important player and a huge link in the middle of the pitch, not only for us but also for Italy.”
There’s the small matter of Mateo Kovacic who is also in contention who we haven’t mentioned yet. The Croatia international has been brilliant when called upon by Tuchel, but has three seriously good team-mates to fight with.
It’s a headache for Tuchel, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s one that managers from all over the world would love to have right now.