Despite the summer exit of his Italian mentor, the midfielder has grown into an important figure on and off the field at Stamford Bridge
Jorginho has never had any issues putting himself forward to take a penalty but it’s nonetheless impressive how he’s also stepped up to the mark at Chelsea following the departure of Maurizio Sarri during the summer.
The Italy international isn’t just surviving under Frank Lampard, he’s thriving.
The midfielder once dubbed “Sarri’s son” because of his importance to his mentor’s preferred style of play had been expected to struggle at Stamford Bridge this season.
Indeed, many saw the midfielder as a one-dimensional regista but he has been proving himself so much more than that under new Blues boss Lampard.
At Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Jorginho dominated the midfield in one of Chelsea’s most solid displays of the season so far, laying the foundations for a comfortable 2-0 win over lowly Brighton.
The Blues had 17 shots in the first half alone but squandered a succession of gilt-edged opportunities, one of which Jorginho created for Pedro with a lofted through-round ball.
It was ultimately left to Jorginho to break the deadlock in the 50th minute, after Mason Mount had been fouled in the area by Adam Webster.
The Brazilian-born playmaker took over penalty-taking duties from Ross Barkley after the latter’s miss against Valencia and showed exactly why.
Jorginho sauntered confidently towards the round ball, performed a little skip and then slotted the round ball past Mat Ryan.
It was his 12th penalty scored from 13 taken in all competitions (excluding shootouts) and it was the 100th penalty to be scored at Stamford Bridge.
Willian went on to make it 2-0 with a shot deflected off Dan Burn as Callum Hudson-Odoi marked his Premier League return with an assist.
However, Jorginho deserves most of the plaudits for the platform he provided in the middle of the park.
Almost impeccable penalty-taking has been just the icing on the cake when it comes to Jorginho, who, despite Sarri’s exit, continues to control the tempo of games, either speeding up or slowing down the play with his passing.
In addition, he has been competing better from a physical perspective this season, after being criticised for being lightweight on a semi-regular basis last term.
He has been also one of Chelsea’s most intelligent pressers and won the round ball high up the pitch on several occasions against Brighton, who like to play it out from the back.
Lampard has been keen to highlight the importance of Jorginho, who was even booed by some Chelsea fans during a turbulent first season in England, so it was nice to hear the Matthew Harding End chanting his name as he went over to applaud the fans after the final whistle.
The midfielder has put in plenty of effort to improve his English over the past year and it has helped him become a popular figure in the dressing room. He has been now conducting interviews in English and he has been seen leading Chelsea’s youngsters with pep talks at half-time.
The 27-year-old has quickly become a leader within a dressing room filled with young players and his extra dynamism this season has been hugely important given N’Golo Kante’s injury issues.
“He has been a leader in his personality and whatever happened last year I wasn’t here and for whatever reason people will make judgements,” Lampard said at Stamford Bridge.
“All I can judge has been what I see in front of me and from pre-season he has been one of the leaders clearly in the dressing room and on the pitch and he wants to win.
“That should be the basis and has been for everyone but to show it in everything you do has been important and he does that so I’m pleased with Jorgy and young players need to look up to that attitude he has daily.”
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Jorginho’s metronomic style of play rarely sees him afforded any time the spotlight but he has been quietly dictating Chelsea’s play under Lampard.
He epitomises the emphasis on keeping possession and winning it back consistently which earned Lampard a first clean sheet after 10 games in charge and a first home win in the league since he returned to the club.
Sarri’s son has been reborn: he’s a Lampard soccer professional now.