Man in the middle: Why Jorginho is Chelsea’s most important player in ‘Sarri Ball’


The Serie A had been pretty boring since 2012. Juventus went on a pretty rampage and won the next six editions on the spin. But, that wasn’t the case last season. Maximilliano Allegri’s men really needed to prove their extreme worth when Napoli pushed them to the cliff. Juventus did win in the end, making seven league titles in as many seasons. But Napoli got the praise they deserve.

It isn’t everyday a team goes on and almost catches Juventus for the ‘Scudetto’. Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens – all were praised. But when one truly looked at the way Napoli played, there’s one person that stands up amidst the little spotlight that’s left.

Yes indeed, Jorginho is his name. The Brazilian born Italian has been nothing short of a midfield maestro ever since his Napoli career took off. Hamsik and Co. scored the goals, but almost everything that Napoli stood for under Sarri, went through him. Jorginho was playing the role of a ‘Destroyer’, sometimes even as a central midfielder. He was disbanding the oppositions’ attack as well as building one from the back. The way he orchestrated Napoli, was something of a perfection. Maurizio Sarri, the then Napoli coach, heaped praises on the Italian. But as humble as he’s always been, Jorginho didn’t let the praise get to his head. He kept a level headed approach, and concentrated on making Napoli even better. But many European heads were turned by his impressive showings.

This transfer window has been filled with numerous Jorginho rumours, linking him to Chelsea and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s men looked set to get his signature. But it was Chelsea who had the final laugh. For 52 million pounds, Jorginho was signed by Sarri. It was only understandable that Sarri would go all out to sign the player who worked as an absolute ‘Metronome’ for Napoli.

It’s been only three matches but Jorginho hasn’t had the need for time to get adjusted. From his very first day, he started to make giant strides. It’s like he’s been playing in the Premier League for years. With the much anticipated ‘Sarri Ball’ in full flight, Jorginho is slowly but surely becoming the most vital cog in Sarri’s Chelsea mission.

Jorginho has been immense for Chelsea for the past three seasons. First things first, stats explain just how magnificent Jorginho has been. In these three games, Jorginho attempted a magnificent 338 passes to his teammates, of which 311 were the players. Against Newcastle, Jorginho almost took a lesson for learning. From his position as the shield in front of the defence, to pinging ball up to Hazard and Willian; Jorginho is the Jack of all trades. He’s accounted for 15% of Chelsea’s possession this season in the league. And yet after all these defensively magnificent stats, he’s still got a goal to his name; albeit from the spot.

The main strength of Jorginho excelling in Chelsea is his previous connections with the Italian in Napoli. The midfielder was handed the reigns of the Napoli midfield. As the heartbeat, Jorginho started to take more care and be more decisive. And there’s almost no one who can understand Sarri’s philosophy and implement them as good as Jorginho. Building from the back to attacking the opponent, Jorginho seemed to do it everything. And the ‘Sarri Ball’ philosophy goes hand in hand for Jorginho to excel. Even in Chelsea, every little attack or build up seems to go through the excellent Italian.

With these magnificent attributes, it’s easy to see why there was a war going on for his signing. Chelsea ended up winning it. And within just three matches, Jorginho has cemented his place as an undisputed starter for ‘The Blues’. He’s already taken the spotlight off of Kante as Chelsea’s most important player. Not even Hazard or Willian can match the standard he’s set. Tackling his way through the opponents, and distributing inch perfect passes to the forwards- Jorginho’s task may seem like an easy one, but that’s rarely the case. He’s been an absolute midfield workhorse in Chelsea.

But it shouldn’t be much of a surprise for fans who’ve watched him play in the Serie A. Jorginho is not a ‘destroyer’, neither he’s an expert creative midfielder. He can labelled as a ‘Deep lying midfielder’. Sitting pretty just in front of Azpilicueta and Co., Jorginho is the vital link between Chelsea’ attack and their defense. After his brilliant initial first impression, it’s easy to see why Jorginho was one of the most sought after names in this summer transfer window. And with ‘Sarri Ball’ flowing through his boots, it’s also easy to see why Jorginho might very well become Chelsea indispensable main man.