Jorginho to Arsenal: How will Chelsea midfielder fit in under Arteta if Gunners sign him?

With just one day to go until the close of the transfer window, speculations have become rife that Jorginho to Arsenal is a transfer that can happen, with the Gunners being keen on signing the Chelsea midfielder.

It is no hidden secret that Arsenal are in need of reinforcements in midfield and for most of the summer, the Emirates outfit have been linked with names like those of Houssem Aouar of Lyon and Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid.

However, despite their best efforts, they have so far not been able to reach agreements for the transfers and while there might still be hope for a last-minute purchase of Thomas Partey, the sale of Aouar has been ruled out by Lyon President Jean Michel Aulas.

Attention has now reportedly turned to Jorginho and the Gunners are said to be plotting a raid on their Premier League rivals before the transfer window shuts.

The 28-year-old has been a key cog in the wheel for Lampard this season, despite being linked with a move away earlier in the summer and he contributed two goals from the penalty spot in the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Jorginho has starred in three of the Blues’ four league games so far and acted as captain in the absence of Cesar Azpilicueta in the opening two matches.

Jorginho to Arsenal
Frank Lampard has used Jorginho frequently this season

In his first season in charge of Chelsea, Frank Lampard showed a preference for Mateo Kovacic and N’golo Kante as his midfield combination on several occasions, leading to speculation that Jorginho could depart the club but that appears to no longer be the case.

The Brazil-born Italy international appears to have a future at Stamford Bridge but could yet be tempted by the prospect of a move across the London divide to Arsenal.

The former Verona man made a name for himself at Napoli where he earned rave reviews for his performances under Maurizio Sarri as the fulcrum of his vibrant and aesthetically-playing Napoli side.

A battle for his signature emerged across Europe and while he seemed poised to join Manchester City, a last-minute change of plans saw him follow his former manager to West London.

So far, he has yet to win as much plaudits in England as he did in Italy but that has not stopped Mikel Arteta from casting admiring glances his way.

The Arsenal boss acted as assistant to Pep Guardiola when they thought they had a deal for Jorginho in 2018, only to get burned and sign Rodri from Atletico a year later.

Now with time running out, Jorginho to Arsenal is the transfer prospect that has got fans talking and we shall be taking a look at how the Italy international would fit into Arteta’s Arsenal revolution.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta is building a vibrant team at Arsenal

Jorginho to Arsenal: Will he fit into Arteta’s plans at the Emirates?

In his time at Napoli, Jorginho functioned as a deep-lying playmaker, similar to the role Pirlo discharged with distinction in the latter part of his playing career.

Pairing Allan at the base of midfield, the current Chelsea man was charged with the distribution of the ball and maintaining possession in the style of play affectionately known as sarriball.

There were doubts over whether he could transition into this role in the Premier League but he blossomed under Sarri and had the second most number of passes in the league in his first season.

His role changed a bit in his second campaign under Lampard but this season, he has reverted to type, keeping Mateo Kovacic out of the starting lineup.

Arsenal have been in need of a holding midfielder to act as an effective shield against opposition attacks but will Jorginho’s arrival help stem the tide of team’s slicing through Arsenal’s defense at will?

His style of play sees him dictate the tempo of matches from a deep-lying position, as opposed to the more traditional role of playmakers functioning higher up the field.

While Jorginho’s distribution and ball retention might not be in doubt, there are still lingering questions over his physicality.

He is not physically strong enough to act as an effective protector of the defense and this has been a major stick with which detractors beat him.

Granit Xhaka is widely derided for his ineffectiveness as Arsenal’s holding midfielder but the Switzerland international does not lag too far behind in defensive numbers posted by Jorginho last season.

By contrast, the Chelsea man is far behind the numbers attained by some of the league’s best defensive midfielder.

Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi is the ultimate standard by which holding midfielders are judged and the Leicester City man blows Jorginho to the water in key defensive stats last season (both men had 31 appearances).

He led the way in tackles (128-66), Clearances (61-26), interceptions (80-64), recoveries (271-247), duels won (260-123), headed clearances (25-7),  aerial battles won (83-14).

Jorginho to Arsenal
Thomas Partey would add more steel to the Arsenal midfield

As can be inferred from the above, Jorginho struggles with the defensive aspect of the game and while a case can be made that Chelsea’s possession-based style of play does not expose him as often as Ndidi gets with Leicester’s counter-attacking style, the latter is more attune to what Mikel Arteta’s side plays.

The 38-year-old deploys his team in a deep-lying formation against the bigger clubs, enabling them to catch their opponents on the counter, while smaller sides are content to sit back and try to expose the Gunners’ soft underbelly.

These factors serve as indicators that Jorginho might struggle if he makes the move to Arsenal, while his lack of pace is also something that would cause concern for a side that struggle to contain pacy opposition attacks.

In light of the struggles currently being faced by Arsenal, it would be more feasible for the North London side to go all out and add more steel to their midfield rather than bringing in another technically gifted but fragile player.

Ume Elvis

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Ardent football fan and one of the best footie writers you'll find anywhere on the net.


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