When Jorginho arrived in North London, many eyebrows were raised amongst Arsenal’s fanbase.
Arsenal fans know all about signing Chelsea veterans; the likes of Willian, Petr Cech, and David Luiz will bring back familiar memories (which weren’t always positive) to supporters, causing doubt over the acquisition of Jorginho from their West London rivals.
However, Jorginho’s performances against Manchester City and Aston Villa have shown that he is exactly what Mikel Arteta targeted him for; adequate midfield cover who is able to step in for the unreliable Thomas Partey. The Arsenal gaffer is known to be a long-standing admirer of the midfielder; notably referencing “the Jorginho type, that I love” in a 2019 press conference.
The Italian has been forced to step in in recent contests due to injuries to Partey; however, his performances have won over a large portion of the doubters, topped off with that stunning strike in the dying moments at Villa Park.
Jorginho's game by numbers vs Aston Villa:
70 passes complete (joint-most)
5 duels won
3 tackles made
3 possession won
2 chances created
You can still party without Partey. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/JZHY2ZghZu
— Squawka (@Squawka) February 18, 2023
Jorginho is ever-present on the pitch; recording 73 touches against Manchester City, and 90 touches against Villa. He has completed at least 88% of passes attempted in both starts for The Gunners.
Jorginho provides the security on the ball that Mikel Arteta clearly is a fond admirer of, whilst also possessing the creativity to pick out a pass, breaking the defensive lines.
Operating just wide of the right half-space, rather than playing the simple pass to Ben White in the full-back position, Jorginho is able to spot and find Bukayo Saka with a looping lobbed ball over the full-back, demonstrating his vision and capability to pick out an impressive pass, which may be a pivotal trait as Arsenal continue to face increasing amounts of low-blocks.
Similarly, in an alike position, albeit more central, Jorginho is once again able to find Saka by impressively threading a through ball into a tight space between two Villa players, rather than playing the easy pass to the full-back.
Jorginho’s creativity adds a different dimension to an Arsenal attack which have been breathtaking this season; relationships developing between the Italian and the full-backs and wingers are sure to benefit the Gunners going forward.
There are clear deficiencies to Jorginho’s game defensively; lacking the mobility of the often preferred Thomas Partey, occasionally leaving Arsenal exposed when facing quick transitional attacks.
However, for £12 million, Arsenal look to have gotten themselves a stable midfielder to cover for the Ghanian; a much-needed boost to the squad pushing towards the ultimate end-goal of the Premier League trophy.
A signing of this kind was effectively essential for Arsenal to keep up their title challenge; with Mohamed Elneny out injured, Arsenal would have had no cover of any sorts at this moment in time.
The signing of the 31-year old has largely gone against Arsenal’s recruitment patterns, which have had a recent emphasis on youth. However, these signings may be the significant ones during a title challenge.
With Jorginho, Arsenal have themselves a vastly experienced, reliable player who can provide leadership in the dressing room; achievements such as the Champions League and Euro 2020 speak for themselves. Adding a player who has achieved a substantial amount within his career to a squad filled with youth and inexperience may be crucial to maintaining Arsenal’s top of the league status come May.