Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri MUST change THIS ‘fixation’ ahead of Man City | Football | Sport
That is the opinion of former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.
The deep-lying playmaker was bought in the summer from Sarri’s former club Napoli for £57million.
Chelsea landed the Brazilian-born Italian ahead of title rivals Manchester City, and Jorginho appeared quite the coup at the start of the campaign.
The 26-year-old made his name at Napoli through his exceptional passing abilities and vision, and his importance to Sarri’s passing style is evident.
Jorginho has completed more passes (1,324) than any other Premier League player this season, and also leads the ranks in touches (1,457).
Sarri’s insistence on playing Jorginho as the lone holding midfielder – more so a quarterback – has meant that N’Golo Kante plays higher up the pitch in a more attacking role, which he has not flourished in this season.
That is despite the World Cup winner establishing himself as the best high octane defensive midfielder in the world since winning the league with Leicester in 2016.
Jorginho looked desperate for some defensive support when the Blues’ unbeaten run ended against Tottenham two weeks ago, and the midfielder did not feature in their shock 2-1 loss to Wolves on Wednesday night.
Keown believes that Sarri’s stubbornness on his style of play – dubbed “Sarriball” – needs to change, especially as his side gear up for the visit of unbeaten table-toppers Manchester City this Saturday.
“Manchester City and Chelsea play slightly different variations of the same system,” Keown told MailOnline.
“I look at Chelsea and think, are they playing the right players in the right positions?
“Maurizio Sarri wants a playmaker at the base of his midfield and seems to have a fixation of playing Jorginho there.
“Pep Guardiola will have planned to press Jorginho so Sarri would be better served springing a surprise and playing N’Golo Kante in that deep-lying position.
“Watch Son Heung-min’s brilliant solo goal for Tottenham against Chelsea and the way he races past Jorginho.
“There is no way that Kante is beaten in that situation.”