Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has confirmed N’Golo Kante will not play the deeper midfield role unless the Blues are trying to defend a late lead.
Jorginho has been occupying the role since signing in the summer but has come under a lot of criticism from fans and pundits alike due to his defensive weaknesses and poor assists record.
Should Kante and Jorginho switch roles? Five key things to know…
- Since Sarri’s arrival in the summer, Jorginho has occupied Chelsea’s deepest midfield role.
- However, the Italian has been caught out defensively at times, while also being nullified on occasion by opposition teams.
- This had led many to plead with Sarri to return Kante to his defensive position to get the most out of the Frenchman’s abilities.
- But Sarri has insisted he will not change his system unless a match specifically requires Kante to defend a lead.
- Jorginho has completed more passes than any other player in the Premier League this season (2,005) but is yet to record an assist.
As part of the criticism, fans have been calling for Kante to play in his favoured defensive midfield role, where he has shone for both club and country since joining Leicester in 2015.
However, Sarri has remained stern on his use of Kante further up the pitch and it will not change except in one certain circumstance.
“Could Kante play in the Jorginho role? Only 20 minutes if I have to defend a result,” Sarri told reporters.
“How do I think Jorginho has adapted? It depends upon what you want from Jorginho. If Jorginho you want the last pass, he has not adapted.
“Jorginho is very able to move the ball, to build up the action, but Jorginho usually plays at 40-45m from the opposition goal, so it’s impossible for him to make the last pass. Jorginho is very good for another job.”
Jorginho’s role in the Chelsea team was questioned once more as the Blues were beaten 4-0 away to Bournemouth in midweek, seeing them drop out of the top four.
On Saturday, the Brazilian-born Italy international was replaced by Mateo Kovacic after 70 minutes during the 5-0 win vs. Huddersfield, which pleased a certain group of Chelsea fans.
Kante, meanwhile, provided two assists to take his season’s tally to four – his best creative return since joining the Premier League.
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Jorginho’s role in Sarrismo explained
Just a day after Sarri was announced as new Chelsea manager, the club showed immense faith in their new head coach by securing the signing of Jorginho, who had been pivotal to Sarri’s style of play at Napoli.
The Italian provides the key transition between the defence and midfield with his passing, often finding himself close to his own goal. This position is intended to suck in opposition teams with Jorginho then passing the ball to Chelsea’s attacking players, who are meant to expose the gaps in a fast break.
That this is not quite working cannot be fully blamed on Jorginho, who is fulfilling most of the requirements of his job – as Sarri has noted.
And it is not just Sarri defending Jorginho, with David Luiz saying: “I know what it is like for Jorginho.
“When I re-signed for Chelsea, I remember on the first day that people were laughing about it and not showing me any respect.
“People can have their opinion, but if they express it with more respect, it’s nicer.
“But some people in the world don’t have the same education or politeness.
“Jorginho is a great player.”