Pep Guardiola had probably already started planning how he’d use his new midfield pass master. After all, Jorginho’s move to Manchester City was widely considered to be a done deal. All that remained was for the Premier League champions to hammer out the finer details of the transfer with Napoli. The appointment of Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager changed everything, though.

Sarri was Jorginho’s boss at Napoli, with the 59-year-old basing his entire team around the midfielder. The two were perfect for each other as Napoli came within just a few points of winning their first Scudetto since 1990. Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik, Jose Callejon and others shone for Napoli last season, but Jorginho was the man around which they revolved.

So when Sarri pitched up at Stamford Bridge last week, he requested that his on-the-field brain be brought to England with him. Despite Guardiola’s long-standing interest in the player, Jorginho was lured to Chelsea, putting pen to paper on a five-year deal. While the Italy international likely would have faced a fight for a starting spot at Man City, he will be the main man for the Blues this coming season.


He is the sort of midfielder Chelsea have needed for a long time. Of course, they already have N’Golo Kante, an irrepressible force of nature, but while the Frenchman covers more ground than anyone, the Blues need someone to dictate the pace and tempo of their passing play. That’s what Jorginho will do.

The 26-year-old, who was born in Brazil, cites Andrea Pirlo and Xavi Hernandez as his idols and that is apparent in the way he plays the game. Jorginho is a midfield metronome who would have been a natural fit for Manchester City under Guardiola. It’s easy to see why the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss wanted him at the Etihad Stadium, but equally Sarri knows how to get the best out of Jorginho.

A lot will be learned over the coming weeks regarding the direction of Chelsea under Sarri. The Italian has work to do in convincing many of the club’s big names, including Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Willian, to stay, with more signings sure to be made before the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season.

But it says a lot that Jorginho was prioritised as Sarri’s first signing in his new job. The former Napoli boss seemingly made the signing one of his conditions of joining Chelsea in the first place. The Blues have lacked this sort of player for years and the Italian’s arrival at Stamford Bridge could be the precursor for a revolution.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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