Saúl was "thrown in at the deep end" on Chelsea debut
Saúl's first outing with Chelsea was among the worst debuts in Premier League history, according to The Daily Mail. He was taken off at half-time.
The first day in the office is no way to pass judgement on someone's career. Many players have had debuts which they'd rather forget, someone of them, absolute nightmares while others, the lucky ones, manage to get off to a flyer.
Saúl began a new stage in his career this week at Chelsea. The midfielder wanted to find himself by setting himself a new challenge in London, but his first outing left a lot to be desired. The English press picked apart his debut performance with one newspaper placing it among the 10 worst debuts in Premier League history.
"Fans branded Saúl Ñíguez' first-half performance as 'garbage' and 'embarrassing' after the Chelsea midfielder was hooked at half-time on his debut.. The Spaniard, who signed on loan from Atlético Madrid on transfer deadline day, was thrown straight into action against Aston Villa on Saturday in the Premier League," noted The Daily Mail.
Replaced at half-time
Saúl featured in the starting line-up alongside Kovacic against Aston Villa, but he didn't have his best day. The ex-Atlético player completed 82% of his passes, but lost three - which led to chances for Villa. Tüchel decided to take him off at half-time, replacing him with Jorginho and Chelsea went on to win the game 3-0 with Romelu Lukaku scoring twice.
The other players who figure in the Mail's list of nightmare debuts are: Thiago Silva (2020, Chelsea), Ali Dia (1996, Southampton), Rio Ferdinand (2000, Leeds), Gervinho (2011, Arsenal), Fernando Torres (2011, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (2006, United), Joe Cole (2010, Liverpool), Laurent Koscielny (2010, Arsenal), Teddy Sheringham (1997, United), Alexandre Jankewitz (2021, Southampton). A few of them, after that first day, went on to become stars at their clubs.