Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed Saul Niguez is in his plans despite lack of playing time.
The Spaniard arrived at the London club in the summer from Atletico Madrid but had a disappointing debut, which has seen him fail to feature regularly.
Speaking after Chelsea's weekend win over Southampton, Tuchel revealed the midfielder almost made his starting 11 for the match but eventually settled for a spot on the bench.
"Saul does not need to worry, just work hard, and then the chances will come," said Tuchel.
"We could only give 11 players the chance [to start], so of course that means we have eight players we didn't trust on Saturday from the beginning. I cannot hide from this reality and I will always do my choices in the best belief for the team and for these kinds of games.
"There will always be tactical choices, there will be choices on current form, there will be choices on connections on the field, and Saul was very, very close to starting on Saturday.
"In the end, I decided against it because I thought if we put him in another high-pressing match, against an opponent who is pressing so high in the centre of the pitch, would it be fair to him to say okay now prove it, and let's see if your adaption has gone further,"
Tuchel however acknowledged that the players left out do not like the decisions, adding;
"It's life at Chelsea and we have to keep on going and keep everybody positive. The guys have to work for their form because performance is the most important, and form and confidence and positive attitude. Saul has everything. His time will come,"
Saul will hope to break into the Blues team when action resumes after the two-week international break.