After a deal for Moises Caicedo proved evasive, Mikel Arteta now joins the Gunners via London rivals Chelsea — let’s talk about what Jorginho for the Premier League leaders.
Arsenal have put a bow on their January transfer window with the signing of Italian international Jorginho. Reports indicated that the Gunners paid London Rivals Chelsea a transfer fee of $14.27 million for the ball-winner on Deadline Day in a deal set to last 18 months. The former UEFA Champions League winner will look to boost Arsenal’s injury-ridden midfield to standards well enough to keep their top status in this season’s Premier League table.
After tallying over $384 million in spending on eight players, Chelsea completely transformed their previous squad-building philosophies. Under new leadership, the club shifted to gambling on young, promising players and presenting them with long-term deals to ensure full development. Behind signing Enzo Fernández in a record-breaking $127.21 million deal, the club decided to part ways with their veteran midfielder to make room for their new star.
Brighton’s Moises Caicedo was understood to be Gunners’ top transfer target. Anxious to join his dream club, Caicedo took to social media to ask Brighton to allow him to leave; he even posted a heartfelt note to Brighton suits and supporters, signaling an inevitable departure. However, reports eventually confirmed that while offers came in from top European clubs for the player’s services, the Seagulls rejected each one, presumably due to disagreements about a final fee.
After missing out on Caicedo, Arsenal turned to Jorginho to finish the January window on a solid note.
Jorginho is the third and final signing of Arsenal’s window after the club inked Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior. Despite his lack of youthful pace compared to the core of the current side, manager Mikel Arteta believes he fits their profile. “He is a player who fits our style of play, and he joins us at a very good moment where he can contribute in a key position to help maintain our momentum,” the gaffer said upon the arrival of the player who won the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and UEFA European Championship in 2021.
Jorginho Arsenal Transfer Details
Deal agreed on: Jan. 31, 2023
Reported transfer fee: $14,270,000
Jorginho’s estimated market value: $36,210,000 via Transfermarkt
Jorginho Stats Per 90
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How Jorginho Fits at Arsenal
In terms of experience on football’s biggest stages, Jorginho is about as good as it gets. The 31-year-old has a full trophy cabinet of Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup hardware during his time with the Blues. However, as the veteran’s athleticism inevitably declines with age, it will be his vision, anticipation, and intelligence that ultimately provide value in an Arsenal midfield built on intensity.
Plus, will he really need top-end pace anyway? The impressive athleticism of center backs William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes helps solve the issue of making up ground quickly should he get beat. Statistics indicate that the player is more efficient at the base of the midfield than current anchor Thomas Partey, though it’s yet to be determined just how Arteta will assemble all his puzzle pieces together.
It’s not an ideal approach to rely on an older, slower player than what’s currently available for selection, sure. But as a true craftsman in a double pivot, the manager could easily lean on experience to elevate an already-functioning club to higher levels.
As a starter or impact rotational piece, Jorginho’s best qualities revolve around protecting and keeping the ball. His knowledge and trophy pedigree will infuse the young club with the sort of winning mentality needed to consummate their ongoing Premier League title push. (Not for nothing, he has also earned a reputation as one of the best penalty-takers in the Premier League, but it’s unforeseeable that he’d surpass the ascendant Bukayo Saka in that role.)
At the very least, Arsenal have secured the services of a decorated, world-class footballer through the 2023-24 season. It’s simply up to to determine how hard to lean on the Brazilian-born Azzurri international.
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