Former Manchester United and Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham has been discussing why midfielder Jorginho is the key to new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri successfully implementing his favoured style of play at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to have been attracted to Sarri after Napoli became one of the most attractive teams in Europe to watch under the 59-year-old coach.
One of the key men in that Napoli side was Brazilian born Italy international Jorginho, who Sarri made sure followed him to Stamford Bridge earlier this summer in a £57 million deal.
Higginbotham reckons that the deep-lying playmaker will be the main man in terms of helping his manager bring his famous Sarri-Ball tactics to the Premier League.
”Jorginho is the man that makes Sarri-ball tick.’’ Higginbotham told Sky Sports.
”Because he has played under Sarri before at Napoli – and I’m not saying he’ll become the on-pitch manager – he can help the players adjust to the way Sarri wants to play.
”He’s the heartbeat of the team now, as he was eventually at Napoli, with everything going through him. He has strong runners either side of him, which creates space for him, and he’ll be that deep-lying playmaker and will be expected to be that shield too.
”The first and second goal against Arsenal were really good indications of how Chelsea can mix it up when needed.
”The first goal showed Hector Bellerin too far up the pitch on Willian, and Jorginho acting as another centre-back. The ball was passed to Jorginho and he released Marcos Alonso, who then found Pedro. It looked simple, but simplicity, as they say, is genius.
”For the second goal, Arsenal had everyone in Chelsea’s half, and tried to stop Jorginho. If you stop him, he’ll stay away. Arsenal’s two defensive midfielders were high up the pitch on Jorginho, which meant the defence moved up, and it led to a very simple goal.
”Cesar Azpilicueta sent a ball over the top, Alvaro Morata gets the better of Shkodran Mustafi and scores. That is the problem Chelsea will cause you.”