It was no surprise at all when rumours of Manchester City’s interest in Napoli midfielder Jorginho first started to break. Since boss Maurizio Sarri arrived in Naples at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign, the midfielder has proven to be the key component in a passing machine extremely similar in style to that deployed by his counterpart Pep Guardiola.
Easy on the eye, well-drilled and slick in their style, Napoli had no shortage of admirers in the last three seasons, their lack of trophies in this period of no consequence whatsoever to the football purists who enjoyed watching them play. The Catalan boss himself did not hold back in his admiration for Sarri as he described the Partenopei as “probably the best” side he had ever faced when the two sides met in the Champions League group stages last October.
This week – after having replaced Sarri with Carlo Ancelotti – Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed that he had received a bid from City for Jorginho, however, the offer of €45 million plus €5 million in bonuses was short of the €60 million requested by the club. It may take some more negotiation in order for the Manchester outfit to secure the signing but it seems like the club will eventually get their man as reports suggest the player has already agreed personal terms.
“Today Jorginho is a Napoli player, he has not signed anything with anyone and Napoli have not negotiated a deal with anyone, his agent Joao Santos told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli on May 24. “However, Napoli and Manchester City continue to talk and discuss things calmly. We will see what happens in the future. We will have to see if Ancelotti wants Jorginho or not, I don’t know what the situation is right now. The player is certainly appreciated by Pep Guardiola and many other coaches.”
Deployed in the middle of Sarri’s 4-3-3, the Brazilian-born playmaker is responsible for connecting the defence with the attack, the lynchpin of Napoli’s movement in both phases of the game. As Serie A’s second-placed team recorded a total of 725.9 passes per game, they trailed only Manchester City in Europe’s top five leagues as the Premier League champions registered a figure of 743.2 in the same category.
With no discernible weaknesses in the specific role that he plays, Jorginho became the top player in Europe in terms of number of passes for the third season in a row at the end of the current campaign, connecting with 89.5% of 96.9 average attempts. That Fernandino – the current occupier of that position at City – is fourth with a success rate of 90.1% of 87.5 passes per match shows that the margins are fine, however so too is the line between success and failure at the highest level.
Just like change from Yaya Toure to Sergio Busquets during his time at Barcelona, Guardiola is clearly looking to pick the very best players for his starting lineup in order that he can switch with those on the bench without a discernible drop in quality. With a system built around precision and the importance of the central midfielder in his 4-3-3, there is a need to bring in players that can quickly assimilate his ideas.
Jorginho is exactly that.
Jorginho and hundreds of other footballers are available to trade on Football INDEX: https://www.footballindex.co.uk/stockmarket/team