Why Portuguese defender Artur Jorge is worth a punt for Southampton
According to claims from Portuguese outlet A Bola, via Sport Witness, as cited by MSN, Southampton have been credited with an interest in Portuguese defender Artur Jorge, who currently plies his trade with Vitoria Setubal in his homeland.
Jorge is hardly a household name in Europe but he has been in fine form for Vitoria Setubal in the Portuguese top-flight this season, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in each of the club’s first 11 league fixtures so far.
Having conceded just 7 goals in 11 games so far, Vitoria boast of one of the best defensive records in the Primeira Liga and Artur Jorge has been a key component of a backline that has frustrated some of the nation’s deadliest strike forces.
Born in Braga, Portugal, Jorge rose through the youth ranks of Braga, but he featured largely for the club’s reserve side and spent time on loan at Freamunde and Vilaverdense in the lower divisions before going on to make 28 first-team appearances for his boyhood club.
The 25-year-old, though, never really managed to establish himself as a regular fixture in the playing XI at Braga and was once again loaned out to Romanian giants FCSB and Belgian outfit Mouscron prior to a return to his homeland with Vitoria Setubal in 2018.
That paved the way for a resurgence and Artur Jorge has established himself as one of the mainstays at the back for a mid-table outfit in the Portuguese top-flight.
The 25-year-old has made a total of 35 appearances for Vitoria Setubal so far in all competitions and he looks good for plenty more, with his contract not set to expire until 2021.
As per whoscored, Jorge has averaged 42.2 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 77.6%, including 3.7 long balls, 1.5 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.9 aerial duels and 7 clearances per game in the Primeira Liga this season.
To put things into perspective, Southampton’s defensive problems have been well-documented this season, with the ignominy of the 9-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester City still looming large at St.Mary’s.
The Saints have found themselves all over the place at the back and the club’s links with Artur Jorge certainly makes a lot of sense.
Having conceded as many as 29 goals in 12 games so far, it is a no-brainer for the Saints to sign defensive reinforcements moving forward in January.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has struggled to extract the best out of a central defensive cavalry consisting the likes of Jannik Vestergaard, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens and Kevin Danso.
To that end, Artur Jorge, who has been in top form in the Portuguese top-flight this term, could possibly come through the door as an upgrade on the existing faces at the back.
At 25, Jorge certainly has a lot of time on his side to mould his game in order to suit the demands of playing in England.
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All in all, Artur Jorge looks like a risky proposition, given his lack of experience at the highest level. However, if they can sign him for €1.5m, then it makes him worth a punt for the Saints during the mid-season trading period in January.