Why Jorginho will be more important for Chelsea than Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard. That’s the name that comes to every football fan in the world when someone talks about Chelsea. Hazard has been Chelsea’s talisman for almost six years now.
Ever since he arrived in England, he has been a sensation. He’s been their hero, their totem that can wins games almost single-handedly. If he has an off-season, Chelsea have a season to forget for themselves. Just look back at the 2015/16 season when Chelsea finished 10th.
And guess what happened with Hazard then? He scored only 4 goals in the league and all four of them came in the last month of the campaign. But Maurizio Sarri’s revolution at Stamford Bridge, Jorginho could become the Blues’ new messiah.
Jorginho arrived from Napoli along with his manager in the summer for £57m but he has already established himself as a key figure for the club. As far as stats from the previous term are concerned, he completed a whopping 2860 passes last season, with an 89% pass accuracy.
He had 50 interceptions to his name while clearing 11 dangerous chances and successfully completing 46 tackles. He is not just a destroyer at the base of midfield but also contributes to the attacking play. His 81 key passes over the last 2 seasons prove that point quite nicely.
During his debut for Chelsea against Manchester City, Jorginho struggled against the ultra press of Bernado Silva, Fernandinho and Phil Foden. He was constantly robbed off possession and looked on the back foot. But he could be excused for that as it was his first game in England and against the reigning Premier League champions.
In the next two league games against Huddersfield Town and Arsenal, he stamped his authority at the centre of the park. Over these 180 minutes, he completed 153 passes with a pass accuracy of 93%. But his game is not based entirely on passing the ball around. In fact, he is the holding midfielder that has freed N’Golo Kante to play a more attacking role. His partnership with Kante, and Mateo Kovacic when he came on against Arsenal in the second half, has been quite impressive.
With Jorginho behind him, Kante doesn’t need to stay back and do the dirty work. This was evident from the first two games when the Frenchman, who hardly ever ventures ahead, took 3 shots on goal and scored once.
Since he is arriving late in the box and remains mostly unmarked on crosses, Kante is receiving all these opportunities to shoot. Jorginho seems to have developed a good chemistry with left-back Marcos Alonso as well, finding him several times on the overlap in the match against Arsenal.
The only problem for Chelsea and Jorginho this season is their involvement in the Europa League. It is a long competition that drains the energy out of the players because of its schedule. Hence, it will be Sarri’s responsibility to rotate Jorginho in a way that he remains fresh. A fit and in-form Jorginho could prove to be the next dark knight for Chelsea.