Who's laughing now?! 'Agent Jorginho' showing exactly why Arsenal signed him

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Jorginho Arsenal 2022-23
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The Gunners midfielder has made a big impact at the Emirates Stadium following his much-scrutinised January move from Chelsea

It wasn’t long ago that an injury to Thomas Partey would have struck fear into the hearts of Arsenal fans across the globe. And so perhaps the biggest compliment you can pay to Jorginho right now is that Partey’s latest muscle problem has not been met with the usual level of fear and trepidation.

The fact that there is even a debate as to whether Partey should return to Mikel Arteta's starting line up against Everton on Wednesday tells you all you need to know about Jorginho’s impact at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s January signing from Chelsea was dubbed ‘Agent Jorginho’ by joyous Blues fans when his Gunners debut at Goodison Park earlier this month coincided with the Gunners sinking to their first Premier League defeat in five months.

But those Chelsea fans aren’t laughing anymore.

The Italy international has proven to be an incredibly smart piece of business by Arsenal, one that has undoubtedly made them stronger as they go hunting a first Premier League title since 2004.

  1. “He’s a great player. He brings a lot of quality”

    “He’s a great player. He brings a lot of quality”

    With Partey injured, Jorginho has started each of the Gunners’ last three games and has been impressive in all three, ensuring the Ghana international’s presence has not been overly missed at the base of Arsenal’s midfield.

    “He’s a great player,” Martin Odegaard said, while discussing the 31-year-old’s impact following Saturday’s 1-0 win at Leicester City. “We saw that from the first day when he came here. 

    “He brings a lot of quality, he’s very calm on the ball, finds the right passes and dictates the game. He’s nice to play with.”

    Arsenal’s intentions in the January transfer window were clear. They went into the market looking to strengthen in three key areas; at centre-back, central midfield and in attack. And with the arrivals of Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Leandro Trossard they did just that.

    Jorginho and Trossard may not have been the priority targets, but when Mykhailo Mudryk and Moises Caicedo proved to be out of reach, they quickly put Plan B into action.

    And both have made immediate impacts at a crucial stage of the season, which is exactly why they were brought in. 

  2. A debut to forget
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    A debut to forget

    The capture of Jorginho from Chelsea certainly divided opinion, with many Arsenal fans still scarred by the unmitigated disaster of Willian’s move from Stamford Bridge.

    But Arteta did not have a single doubt. He was convinced the Euro 2020 winner would add quality to his squad and depth to his options at defensive midfield. And, as has been the case so often at Arsenal, Arteta appears to have been fully vindicated.

    “They are going to fall in love with him," Arsenal's manager said, when asked about how the fans would take to Jorginho. “The same way the players and the coaching staff have here because of his personality, how humble he is, because he makes everybody better and that’s a huge quality.”

    Jorginho’s debut at Everton was far from ideal. He came off the bench on the hour mark to replace Partey, and within a minute James Tarkowski headed home what proved to be the winner for Sean Dyche’s side.

    But his fine form since that defeat means he will likely line up at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield against the same opposition on Wednesday when the Toffees make the trip down from Merseyside to north London.

    Victory for the Gunners will see them open up a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and see them build on their impressive back to back victories at Aston Villa and Leicester City during the past fortnight.

  3. Leading the way against Leicester
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    Leading the way against Leicester

    With Partey injured, Jorginho was hugely influential in those two wins. He patrolled the midfield area with the calmness of a man who knows exactly what the Premier League is about. It may not have been spectacular, but it was effective.

    Against Leicester, he made more tackles (three) than any other Arsenal player, made the most recoveries (10), had the most touches (95), made the most passes (86) and attempted the most passes into the final third (31).

    With Partey not deemed fit enough to start, Jorginho did exactly what was asked of him. It was an excellent performance, just as it was when he filled in for the Ghanaian at Villa Park the previous weekend.

    "He's got the experience,” Arteta said, when discussing the ease in which Jorginho has settled. “He's got the qualities we need in the team and he knows the league so well, so there are not a lot of things that are new or catching him by surprise."

  4. The perfect Partey deputy

    The perfect Partey deputy

    No-one expects Jorginho to move ahead of Partey in the pecking order at Arsenal, but that is not what he was brought the club to do. He was signed to provide cover and competition in the defensive midfield position, especially with Mohamed Elneny picking up a long-term injury. And so far he has done just that.

    In his four Premier League appearances for Arsenal, Jorginho averages more passes than Partey per 90 minutes (78.3 compared to 70), plays more through balls (0.9 compared to 0.29), makes more ball carries over 10 metres (2.7 compared to 2.4) and makes more interceptions (1.2 compared to 1.16).

    And more importantly, in the areas that he lags behind Partey, he is not so far behind that Arsenal suffer badly as a result.

    Partey makes more tackles, but only just (2.44 compared to 2.39). It’s a similar story with recoveries (8.13 compared to 7.18) and ball carries (15.2 compared to 13.8).

    The signing of Jorginho means Arsenal are now not as reliant on Partey as they previously were. The fear of losing the Ghanaian to injury is perhaps not as all consuming as it once was.

    Arteta now has another quality option in midfield thanks to a smart piece of January business. Plenty may have scoffed at Jorginho when he first arrived in north London, but those detractors aren't laughing anymore.