Cesar Azpilicueta has praised Saul Niguez’s determination to improve after his poor display during his Chelsea debut against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Spamish midfielder joined Chelsea in a loan deal from Atletico Madrid and was handed his first start for the game at Stamford Bridge.
But the 26-year-old struggled in his first match for Chelsea and was replaced by Jorginho at the break as Thomas Tuchel’s side went on to secure a 3-0 win.
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Tuchel took responsibility for Saul’s poor performance and conceded that the player made ‘big mistakes’ during his debut.
But Azpilicueta has backed him to be an ‘important’ player for Chelsea this campaign and says the midfielder’s reaction to his poor display has been ‘spot on’.
‘Of course, when he signed for Chelsea he had a bit of a stressful last hours in the transfer window, he arrived in a new country, had just a few training sessions, first game against a good opposition, they were very aggressive, it’s normal sometimes you need a bit more time to adapt.
‘His response has been absolutely spot on. His desire to improve, asking questions, he wants to adapt as quick as possible.
‘Some players need more time than others, that’s completely natural.
He has our full support. He’s a great addition, I’m very happy to have him in our team.
‘I’m sure he’ll keep growing and help the team because we need it from everybody. I’m sure he’ll be an important player in the season.’