Chelsea: Jorginho will be the metronome pacing the Blues’ Sarri-ball

NAPLES, ITALY - MAY 06: Jorginho of SSC Napoli in action during the serie A match between SSC Napoli and Torino FC at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 2018 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
NAPLES, ITALY - MAY 06: Jorginho of SSC Napoli in action during the serie A match between SSC Napoli and Torino FC at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 2018 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images) /

Chelsea have made moves, signing two key cogs from a well-oiled Napoli machine. Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho are swapping a lighter blue for that of a more royal tone.

Rumour has it some geological tremors were picked up under Stamford Bridge on Saturday. As if finally something was happening to a club seemingly stuck two months behind everyone else. To be fair to Chelsea, the World Cup has been exquisite. Easy enough to forget they had actual jobs to do.

Sarri was an ongoing debacle, one which seemed almost bound to happen at some point in the next, well, century. However, the news of a double swoop including Jorginho sprung out of the woods just days ago, making my heart flutter in the process. It was especially surprising given Manchester City seemed to have a deal for the Brazilian-Italian wrapped up weeks ago.

Jorginho is something special, and fits Sarri’s system like a glove. Depending on how highly you view Sarri as a tactician and man-manager, it’s not unfair to suggest that without the midfielder, Napoli’s resurgence to the top doesn’t happen.

Signed from Hellas Verona in 2014, he joined the Naples club with predominantly Serie B experience. Just four years later he has Champions League, Serie A and Europa League experience, and heading to the Premier League for over £50 million. The fee, by the way, could well be a bargain given the fees going around at the moment. He’s still only 26, too, and does not necessarily play in a physically demanding way.

Calm, composed, and smooth on the ball. Jorginho will draw immediate comparisons to his new teammate, Cesc Fabregas.

Unlike Fabregas, though, Jorginho played at the base of a midfield three for the past few years and is very good with his defensive duties.

With Napoli he regularly made over 100 passes a game, breaking records in the process. He’s arguably more of a Xavi-type than Fabregas. Jorginho links up for shorter passes like the former, while the latter looks to break lines over the top.

That’s not to say Jorginho can’t play the long balls. He does so with graceful ease, giving his strikers the best opportunity to collect the ball in stride.

Ball retention is the key the way Sarri sets his teams up. Jorginho sits in front of the defence, often mingling amongst his defensive peers to give and receive passes.

Rondos are a staple of Sarri’s training. While often a fun game to lighten the mood, Jorginho uses it for muscle memory practice for use in high pressure situations. It’s just as simple in game for him.

Jorginho will offer himself for give-and-goes for the sprightlier midfielders and forwards, creating triangles to bamboozle the opposition.

Chelsea’s new number five is so, so composed on the ball. He is happy to receive in any situation and embraces the opposition press like a current cascading around rocks.

The defensive side of the game is obviously important for a central midfielder, and Jorginho times his tackles superbly. Sarri allows him to cleverly intercept passing lanes, too. Picking and choosing when to slow the game down means he can often create rapid counters with one tackle, one shimmy and one perfect through-ball.

Whatever you do, though, maybe don’t wish upon him taking penalties.

The Blues appear to be all in on Sarri-ball, signing the player most associated with the new coach.

Fans’ biggest worry may be Jorginho blocking the path to the first team for players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount. If anything, he would actually help the youngsters play. He reduces their defensive responsibility, as well as the impetus to drop deep and help set up from the back. This means Loftus-Cheek and Mount could be unleashed further up the pitch in a more expressive role.

Next: Chelsea predicted XI: Maurizio Sarri's best lineup on Day One

It’s taken months of agony, but Sarri-ball’s comin’ home.