Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri should not have signed midfielder Jorginho in the summer, according to Ruud Gullit.
Jorginho is key to Sarri’s style of play, having worked under him at Napoli, but the Italian has received criticism for both his lack of creativity and defensive abilities – pushing N’Golo Kante out of his holding role.
Was signing Jorginho a mistake? Five key things to know…
- Jorginho followed Sarri in joining Chelsea from Napoli last summer, and immediately became key to his midfield.
- His arrival saw N’Golo Kante pushed further forward, which some believe has hampered the Frenchman’s best abilities.
- Jorginho has also received criticism for his lack of creativity, still to record an assist for the Blues.
- And former Chelsea manager Gullit believes the club should not having signed Jorginho as he, alongside Kante, is not attacking enough.
- Jorginho (1,876) has completed more passes than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
After a blistering start under Sarri, things have slowed down for Chelsea and the Blues have struggled for goals of late, often looking toothless in attack.
And Gullit believes the club are too reliant on the form of Eden Hazard, with no other players actively producing goals.
“With Chelsea, and specifically Hazard, there is a problem there because if he is not in form and scoring goals, then the whole team has been struggling,” he told BBC Sport.
“If Mohamed Salah does not score for Liverpool, then they can rely on Mane and Roberto Firmino. It is the same at Manchester City where, if it is not Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus finding the net it is Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling.
“But, apart from maybe Willian, who else have Chelsea got in their team who they have really been able to rely on to get them goals? They don’t have anyone.”
Gullit went on to criticise the summer signing of Jorginho, believing Sarri feels he has to play both him and Kante when just one would suffice in the deeper midfield role.
He added: “That’s why, personally, I think Sarri’s biggest mistake was to buy Jorginho when he already had N’Golo Kante. They are a little bit different as players but both of them are holding midfielders.
“Kante is a World Cup winner and Jorginho is a player Sarri knows he can trust. He finds it difficult to choose between them, so he plays both.
“He should pick one of them, and maybe look to Ross Barkley, who I like for his power, or, when he is fit again, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
“Whoever it is, Chelsea need a midfielder who can add more to their attack, because that is what they are missing.”
While Jorginho is yet to record an assist or score from open play this season, Kante has found himself an unusual name amongst the goals.
The Frenchman has scored four goals in 30 games this season, already equalling his tally in the previous three years in England.
Sarri should not have criticised Hazard
Gullit also commented on Sarri’s criticism of Chelsea’s players, advising that the Italian should avoid saying anything negative in public about the players – regardless of what he thinks.
Of the incidents, Gullit said: “The next time Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is asked about Eden Hazard he should avoid saying anything negative, whatever he actually thinks.
“It is very, very risky to criticise your players in public like Sarri did this week – even if you know you are right.
“Sometimes as a manager you really want to be open about what you are thinking, good or bad, and for the right reasons. You are hoping your players respond in the right way.
“But if that openness is misinterpreted by them, then you have more problems.
“What you really don’t want is a situation that plays out in the media like the one we have just seen at Chelsea. The only people who benefit when that happens are the newspapers.”