Jorginho signing at Chelsea reunites midfielder with Maurizio Sarri
Last Updated: 14/07/18 1:33pm
He's been compared to Andrea Pirlo and has already thrived under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, so how will Jorginho fit at Chelsea?
The Brazil-born Italy international had been strongly linked with Manchester City but joins Chelsea on a five-year contract, reuniting him with his former boss Sarri.
So what are Jorginho's strengths and weaknesses and what will he bring to his new side? We take a look…
What's his background?
Jorginho was born in Brazil, but moved to Italy as a 15-year-old. He was snapped up by Verona where he made his way up through the youth ranks before being loaned out to Serie C2 (fourth tier) side Sambonifacese in 2010. He made 31 appearances for Sambonifacese before returning to Verona, helping the club win promotion to Serie A in 2012/13 before leaving midway through the following season - after scoring seven times in 18 appearances - to join Napoli for €5.5m.
Upon signing for Napoli, Jorginho was asked about his role and qualities.
"I like to control the ball and analyse the game. I have grown up as a player watching many champions like Pirlo and Xavi. I have watched them and tried to learn from how they do things."
Jorginho wouldn't take long to settle into his new team, making 15 Serie A appearances in the second half of the 2013/14 season and starting in the Coppa Italia final as Napoli beat Fiorentina.
Suited to Sarri style
Despite a positive start at Napoli, the following season would not go as smoothly for Jorginho under Rafa Benitez. He was in and out of the starting line-up in the opening months of the 2014/15 season, played out of position on the right of midfield and spent much of the latter stages on the bench. The situation was, in fact, so bleak that Jorginho's agent said in the summer of 2015 that "if Benitez had stayed, he'd probably have left".
Benitez, though, departed to join Real Madrid and was replaced by Sarri. The arrival of Sarri, who spent a brief spell in charge of Verona in 2008, proved to be key for Jorginho's development.
Jorginho in numbers
- Most passes in Serie A last season (2713)
- Most touches in Serie A last season (3351)
- Most passes since Napoli debut (11392)
- Most touches since Napoli debut (10270)
"Sarri's formation and playing with a midfield three have been fundamental for me," said Jorginho. "Then, there's his mentality and his style of play, which involves the ball always being on the ground, the continuous pressing forward, constantly imposing our game on the opposition.
"All of this enhanced my characteristics and it's evident that it suits me well... he's a great teacher and I admire his philosophy of the game a lot."
It's little surprise, then, that Jorginho jumped at the chance to be reunited with Sarri at Stamford Bridge.
What can Jorginho do?
Describing his style in 2014, Jorginho said: "I like to cover more roles. I try to always be in the thick of things, two touches and then go, simple things. I get forward and run a lot, roughly 12 kilometres a match."
Playing in a deeper role in midfield and with an excellent passing range that allows him to dictate the tempo, Jorginho has drawn comparisons with Pirlo and Xavi.
Jorginho gives his best in an organised system of play such as Sarri’s or Guardiola’s. In the last few seasons, he has grown a lot in terms of his personality, physical condition and dynamism.
Sky in Italy's Francesco Modugno
Former Verona director Giovanni Galli, who signed Jorginho as a youngster, said: "He is smart, he knows his football and if I had to make a comparison to another of his ilk I would say Pirlo. He doesn't have the same long ball ability as Pirlo, but the same football intelligence."
It is this intelligence which has seen Jorginho develop into a key player for Sarri's Napoli as they have finished second, third and second in the last three Serie A seasons.
The 26-year-old controls the game in the middle of the pitch and boasts some impressive stats.
Most notable are his number of touches and passes in games. Since 2004/05, he makes up nine of the top-10 spots in most touches in Serie A games - Pirlo is 10th on the list. He also makes up nine of the top 10 in most completed passes in Serie A games since the start of 2004/05.
Most touches in Serie A games since 2004/05
He ranks top for completed passes since his Napoli debut and top for passes and touches this season. In terms of breaking up play, he ranks seventh among Serie A midfielders for interceptions since his debut.
His role is to provide a base for Napoli's most creative players to shine from a 4-3-3 formation, and Roma's Radja Nainggolan says he is the hardest opponent he's faced.
"He always plays in tight situations and passes very close to him. It's very hard to follow him and stop his plays. You get tired because he moves the ball very fast, but he didn't even move himself.
"Not that I was in trouble when we met, but you need a lot of energy to keep up with him and stop him. It can be hard sometimes."
It's very hard to follow him and stop his plays. You get tired because he moves the ball very fast, but he didn't even move himself
Roma's Radja Nainggolan on Jorginho
Where will he fit in at Chelsea?
According to Opta, Sarri used the same 4-3-3 formation in every one of Napoli's 38 Serie A games last season, with deep-lying playmaker Jorginho at the base of his three-man midfield.
Jorginho could perform the same role if Sarri opts to introduce a 4-3-3 formation at Chelsea, or he could play in one of the more advance midfield positions, with N'Golo Kante screening behind him.
Sarri could change Chelsea
The appointment of Maurizio Sarri could give Chelsea fans the football they want to see.
Jorginho and Kante both possess the energy for Sarri's high-tempo style, and they could also be used in tandem. If Sarri decides to use a two-man midfield, as Antonio Conte did last season, Jorginho could replace Cesc Fabregas alongside Kante.
Sarri knows how best to use Jorginho, so the only real question mark might be his adaption to the Premier League. When asked about moving to England earlier this year, however, Jorginho said: "I think that I could fit.
"It depends on who else is around me - I need players with the same characteristics that I have. There are English teams with this style of play, ball on the ground, quick transitions, high pressure. If one of those teams wanted me, I could fit and the other way round. My football way is not a usual one."