Why Manchester City will regret losing out on Jorginho to Chelsea
Finally, Chelsea’s managerial stalemate is over. The Blues appointed Maurizio Sarri as their new manager and then announced the signing of Italy midfielder Jorginho on Saturday after Man City pulled out of a £50m deal.
Just hours after announcing ex-Napoli boss Sarri as Antonio Conte’s replacement on a three-year deal, Jorginho was unveiled on a five-year contract.
For much of the last month, Jorginho was destined to end up at Manchester City after he had already made it clear that he did not want to renew his contract with Napoli. In fact, the 26-year-old was one of Pep Guardiola’s top two summer targets along with Riyad Mahrez but his shock move to Chelsea has left City in the lurch.
The reigning Premier League champions had previously missed out on Fred after he chose to join Manchester United earlier this month. Guardiola then chose Jorginho as the man to eventually replace Fernandinho, 33, at the base of his midfield. And while City will move onto sign other midfield alternatives, Jorginho will be a player Guardiola will certainly regret losing out to Chelsea.
After playing a key role in helping Verona win promotion to Serie A in May 2013, Rafael Benitez, then Napoli manager, signed Jorginho in January 2014. Jorginho won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in his first year in Naples.
But under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri, Jorginho has become one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe. The Italy international has been a key figure in Napoli’s emergence as one of the most exciting teams in Europe, and his efforts this past season were instrumental in the Serie A outfit taking the title race down to the final day.
A deep-lying playmaker by trade, Jorginho has drawn comparisons to the legendary Andrea Pirlo for his technique, passing abilities and reading of the game. He can operate in a variety of different midfield roles, thanks to his work-rate and accuracy of passing.
But he is generally tasked with performing the role of a holding midfielder. The 26-year-old was the glue that held Sarri’s thrilling side together from the base of the midfield, dictating the tempo of the game in a manner that Pirlo did for AC Milan and Juventus.
As far as City are concerned, replacing Fernandinho is going to be a huge task for Guardiola as the Brazilian enters the twilight of his career. In an exciting City side that romped to the title last season, Fernandinho was praised for his role in controlling the games from the base of the midfield, week in and week out.
Due to all his attributes, Jorginho would have been the ideal player to replace Fernandinho at the Etihad. Jorginho is yet to hit his peak and at 26, he still has room for further improvements in his game. But now that the Brazilian-born Italy international has joined Sarri’s forces at Chelsea, Guardiola and City have nothing but only regret losing out on a gifted player.