Silva’s leadership shines through with advice for Saul after dire Chelsea debut

Saul was hooked at half-time during Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Aston Villa last weekend – but captain Thiago Silva was on hand to comfort the Spaniard

Thomas Tuchel previews Spurs v Chelsea

Thiago Silva had level-headed words of wisdom for Saul after the Spaniard endured a debut to forget for Chelsea last weekend.

Saul lined up in midfield for the Premier League encounter with Aston Villa having joined the Blues on loan from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.

The 26-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge to much fanfare having helped Atletico beat Real Madrid and Barcelona to La Liga glory last season, but he was substituted on half-time after a sub-par 45 minutes.

Saul faced criticism from Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel for struggling with Villa’s “intensity”, but club captain Silva helped him quickly brush off a disappointing afternoon.

Saul was taken off after 45 minutes in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa

“After my poor performance in my first match, Thiago Silva in particular supported me a lot,” Saul told Fabrizio Romano on Twitch. “He said to me, ‘My first game with Chelsea was much worse! Believe me and don’t worry about it.'”

Silva was able to channel his own experience as he consoled Saul, as he also had a poor debut for Chelsea last season.

The Brazilian centre-back made a crucial defensive error in the 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion last September after arriving from Paris Saint-Germain on a free last summer.

Silva bounced back to play a key role as Chelsea won the Champions League and finished in the top four of the Premier League.

The 36-year-old came off the bench against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday as the Blues kicked off their defence of their European crown with a 1-0 win.

Saul was an unused substitute against the Russian club, with Tuchel keen to ease him into action after his challenging start to life in west London.

“We don’t doubt his quality and ability to adapt,” said Tuchel of Saul. “It takes maybe now a bit of time to get it off his shoulders, but the good thing is he is of an age where he does not worry too much.

“He is self-confident and the good thing is everybody in the dressing room and in the club knows him very well and played many times against him so there are no doubts.

Will Saul cement himself in Chelsea’s starting XI this season? Comment below.

“It just needs a bit of time and the best way to react is what he did. He trains good and he trains with intensity and this will prepare him for the next time he is on the pitch for us.”

The German added: “We have guys who experienced the same difficult start in the team and this team is a very supportive team so everybody shared their experiences also from their first matches in the Premier League.”

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