Chelsea Football Club have, today, announced the signing of Jorginho from Napoli, just minutes after the unveiling of Maurizio Sarri as their head coach. This deal has been in the spotlight for some time now and Chelsea around the world are relieved that it’s finally done and dusted. Jorginho shined under Sarri at Napoli and proved to be a key player in his setup.
Chelsea Football Club website on Jorginho
In Naples, his ability to link defence and attack stood out. Indeed, in Europe’s big five leagues last season, no player had more touches of the ball per minute than Jorginho.
Alongside his technical qualities, he is a combative player willing to put his foot in to regain possession, and his positioning without the ball further aids his effectiveness in front of the defence.
Jorginho is the perfect fit for Sarri’s high-tempo, possession-based style of play and he will look to continue from where he left off in Italy, the country for whom he has eight caps at international level.
Also, while at Napoli last season, Jorginho played more passes in Serie A than any other player in Europe’s top five divisions; completing 2,860 passes in 3,197 attempts. He averaged a pass once every 50 seconds. No wonder he was in high demand at Chelsea. His defensive work is pretty impressive as well, boasting a 70% ball retention rate playing as a defensive midfielder.
These phenomenal statistics, however, do raise a few eyebrows. Is Jorginho intended to be Ngolo Kante’s replacement? According to rumours, Barcelona are interested in drawing Kante away from Stamford Bridge to the Camp Nou, offering Andre Gomes + £50m in return. That deal may not faze Roman Abramovich, but he may be keen to let Kante go if they improve their offer. Should Kante go, would Jorginho fill his boots? Doubtful. Kante’s performances for Chelsea have been almost perfect week in, week out and losing a work-horse like him in midfield could hurt Chelsea, especially since they’ll have a lot of football to play being in the Europa League next season.
Eyes will definitely be out for any further news about Kante and a possible move to Barcelona. I highly doubt it will happen, but this transfer window has already been so shocking. Chelsea will also have to be weary of another threat from Barcelona as they look to get Willian, and Real Madrid on Eden Hazard.