Napoli sell Jorginho to Chelsea


In a moderately surprising twist, Jorginho, who for weeks seemed set to join Manchester City, will instead move to Chelsea. The London club made a better offer (€65M) and the deal facilitated the release of Maurizio Sarri from the Azzurri. The player signed a five-year contract.

The 26-year-old midfielder is coming off his best season yet, where he tallied 39 total appearances, proving to be a vital piece of the Azzurri’s chessboard. Largely snubbed by Gian Piero Ventura, he now also appears to be one of the centre-pieces of Roberto Mancini’s new Italy’s course.

Technically gifted, he plays with great command and became a true mastermind in the past three seasons with the Partenopei. Born in Brazil, he has been in Italy since he was 15. He started to turn heads in 2012/2013 with Hellas Verona and burst onto the scenes at the beginning of the following year, scoring seven goals in Serie A in 18 games before a January move to Napoli. His first couple of seasons at San Paolo were not particularly positive, but things improved when Sarri took over and made a better use of his talent.

Earlier in his career, he often played as box-to-box midfielder with limited defensive tasks, but that has changed in the past few years, when he became a proper deep-lying playmaker and his offensive contribution dropped. However, his effectiveness and centrality in the build-up of the action increased dramatically. He is also a capable penalty taker and has buried nine out of ten attempts in his career.

Napoli had planned to cash in on him and have already purchased his replacement: they have paid the release clause of Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis. The 22-year-old Spaniard is different and more versatile than Jorginho, but probably as classy. Carlo Ancelotti can also count on Amadou Diawara, who had competed with the new Blue before ceding the starting job and represents a more muscular and defensive option, and perhaps give more minutes to Marko Rog, who has played very sparingly so far. Marek Hamsik could also switch positions.

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