Jorginho: Chelsea’s Midfield Artist

 

Jorginho has effortlessly transferred his brilliance from the Italian Serie A into the Premier League. He’s exemplifying his artistic talent in the heart of the midfield at Chelsea and could be a crucial component in The Blues‘ pursuit for the Premier League title.

The Italian has been pulling the strings in the midfield next to his reliable partner N’Golo Kante since the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign. Chelsea are currently unbeaten in the domestic league and are level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool on 20 points after eight fixtures.
Maurizio Sarri had previously managed Jorginho at Napoli and was keen to include him in his system at Chelsea. Kante has been the midfield engine for Chelsea for the previous two years, but the presence of Jorginho has alleviated a considerable amount of responsibility and pressure off the Frenchman.

He bares many similarities to the great Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who won the 2006 World Cup with Italy. Pirlo had an unrivalled vision of the pitch and was naturally capable of controlling the game on midfield. Jorginho is very similar in some respects, although he’s far from the distinguished figure that Pirlo was, and this has been hugely beneficial for Chelsea so far this season.

Road to Stamford Bridge

Jorginho emerged from the academy at Hellas Verona, but he obtained his first valuable source of competitive football during a loan spell with AC. Sambonoifacase. He made 31 appearances playing in the third tier of Italian football, providing 10 assists and scoring just once.
He made a good impression to his parent club and went onto play a pivotal role in Verona’s pursuit to reach the play-off semi-final in the Italian Serie B in 2012. Hellas Verona failed to achieve promotion, but Jorginho continued to strengthen his reputation and helped guide them into the Italian Serie A at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
Hellas Verona only managed to retain his services for six months once they reached the top tier of Italian football. He amassed seven goals in 19 appearances and joined Italian giants Napoli during the 2014 January transfer window. Rafa Benitez took him under his wing upon his arrival in Naples and it wasn’t long until Jorginho had his first taste of silverware in the shape of the Coppa Italia.
The 26-year-old originally found it difficult to pin down a starting place in Naples, but the arrival of Maurizio Sarri in June 2015 proved revolutionary. He went onto make 108 appearances in three seasons under Sarri and earned his first caps for Italy in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Sarri joined Chelsea at the beginning of the 2018/19 season and predictably tempted Jorginho to follow him to Stamford Bridge. Jorginho marked his debut against Huddersfield Town with a nonchalant penalty to beat Jonas Lossl and has been a crucial figure in the starting line-up ever since.

Why is Jorginho so Important to Chelsea?

As previously mentioned, Jorginho shares many similarities with Italian legend Andrea Pirlo. He idolized his countryman during his childhood and early career along with former FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi. Both players had the ability to control the tempo of the game and Jorginho plays in a very similar manner at Stamford Bridge.
He has an extraordinary passing range and his vision enables him to spread the ball around to either grind out results or propel his team forward. Cesc Fabregas played an identical role under Antonio Conte when Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2017, but he’s failed to replicate this form during Conte’s final season and the early stages of Sarri’s reign.
Jorginho is exactly the type of player who could decide Chelsea’s fate. A player who can control the tempo of the match is valuable to any team, especially one contending for the title.
De Bruyne played this role for Manchester City last season, Paul Scholes’ ability to retain possession in the latter stages of the match proved crucial for Manchester United for many years and Andrea Pirlo helped guide AC Milan and Juventus to success for many years with his contribution in midfield.

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