Jorginho is Chelsea’s biggest transfer mistake of the Boehly era

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva spoke of his shock that Jorginho was allowed to leave for Arsenal during the January transfer window in a deal that could low-key be the worst of the Todd Boehly era at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been criticised for their big spending on young players over the course of the last 18 months, but while few of these stars have hit the ground running, there is at least an opportunity for them to turn their Chelsea careers around.

It is often cited that there is a lack of leadership, though, around Stamford Bridge, and offloading the experienced Jorginho to Arsenal in a surprise January deal worth just €11.3 million deprived the Blues of that valuable quality.

The 31-year-old had spent more than four years at Chelsea, playing over 200 matches for the club before being transferred across London for a fee that was significantly below his Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €18m.

Although a relatively unspectacular player in terms of what he did in midfield, Thiago Silva explained in an interview with ESPN Brasil that Jorginho brought a good deal more to the Blues than might have been apparent and admits he was shocked the transfer was completed.

“It was for a direct rival, but these are football things, it happens. He wanted to stay in England because he has family here. There are things that we have no control over, but we have to understand the player’s side of things,” the centre-back explained.

“I know we have a lot of work ahead of us, especially as we have lost one of our great leaders in the dressing room. Jorginho is a guy who spoke a lot and this hole will remain, but we have to move on. We didn’t expect him to leave, but it has happened. We have to make up for his absence in the best possible way.”

Jorginho’s influence being felt at Arsenal

And though Jorginho has struggled to break into the Arsenal team, marquee summer signing Declan Rice has underlined his importance to the club.

“The one who surprised me so much, not surprised because I knew he was such a good player anyway. Playing with him every day in training and seeing how he is because he’s not the biggest is Jorginho,” he said.

“His brain, the way it works as a holding midfielder, I’ve just been trying to pick up little things off of him. He’s always in position, he always knows when to pass, always creates time for himself, he’s an outstanding trainer.”

This is just why Arteta signed a player who is now pushing into the twilight of his career.

FootballTransfers exclusively revealed in September that Jorginho is happy with his role at the club but, perhaps more crucially, that Arteta sees the midfielder as integral to the club’s next stage of development.

His value away from the field is seen as precious for the Gunners while he is seen as a steady hand to come into the team as the fixtures pile up.

In many ways, Jorginho sums up the differing approach of the two London clubs in the transfer market: Chelsea have gone all in on youth, whereas Arsenal have opted for a more balanced strategy.

So far it is the Gunners who are coming out on top, with the smart addition of Jorginho one of the reasons. Chelsea could really use an old head like him.

(Football Transfer)

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EPL: VAR under fire over penalty awarded to Manchester United against Nottingham Forest

Former Arsenal star, Martin Keown has criticized VAR officials over a controversial penalty awarded to Manchester United against Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s Premier League tie.

Having been 2-0 down after four minutes, Man United rallied to beat 10-man Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford, with three goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes (penalty).

Fernandes’ decisive spot-kick was awarded after referee Stuart Attwell pronounced Danilo to have fouled Marcus Rashford as he chased the ball into Forest’s box.

Though there was contact, it was fairly minimal, and Keown was not pleased with VAR’s lack of intervention.

Keown questioned the officials’ capabilities, referring to former VAR official, Mike Dean’s shocking admission that he once chose not to send referee Anthony Taylor to the VAR monitor ‘because he is a mate’.

“I wondered whether it is a moment where you think: ‘Did they [the VAR officials] actually see it?’ Keown told BBC Sport.

“We had that revelation from Mike Dean that there was a moment where he wanted to protect the referee. Well is this the same thing?

“I cannot believe that the officials have come to that decision and awarded a penalty.

“I look forward to the day where the officials can communicate their decisions to us, and explain their workings out in the VAR room.”

(Daily Post)

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EPL: 10-man Liverpool beat Bournemouth 3-1

Ten-man Liverpool came from behind to beat Bournemouth 3-1 in their English Premier League clash at Anfield on Saturday.

Goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota more than made up for Antoine Semenyo’s early opener.

Liverpool made light of playing a third of the match with 10 men after Alexis Mac Allister was sent off for a high tackle.

The hosts sealed their first win of the season with relative ease – though they were given a scare in the opening spell.

The visitors’ new coach, Andoni Iraola, set up his side to swarm Liverpool’s midfielders – a tactic that worked a charm as Jaidon Anthony had a goal disallowed for offside in the first minute.

Two minutes later, the Reds, who drew 1-1 at Chelsea in their opener, were left shocked.

This was when Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was playing as a midfielder in possession, lost the ball in a dangerous area before Semenyo fired the south-coast club in front.

Following the dismal start, Liverpool, who have not lost to Bournemouth at Anfield before, grew into the contest.

Diaz got the breakthrough in the 27th minute as he flicked the ball into the air and scored with an acrobatic volley.

Bournemouth defender Joe Rothwell then brought down Dominik Szoboszlai.

Salah, who missed a penalty when the two sides last met in March, had his spot-kick saved before smashing home the follow-up to make it 2-1 in the 36th minute.

Liverpool kept up the pressure in the second half and scored their third goal through Jota in the 62nd minute, in spite of having gone down to 10 men just before the hour mark.

This was when Mac Allister was shown a straight red for a high tackle on Rothwell in the 58th minute.

Mac Allister’s sending off made little difference to Liverpool’s dominance as they outplayed Bournemouth in the second half.

Goalkeeper Neto did well to keep the deficit in check, saving efforts from Salah and Jota to prevent another thrashing like the 9-0 defeat Bournemouth were handed on their last visit to Anfield.

Liverpool’s new signing Wataru Endo, who came off the bench in the second half, had a strong showing on his debut, asserting himself in midfield as the hosts coasted to victory.

Bournemouth next host Tottenham Hotspur, while Liverpool will travel to face Newcastle United.

(NAN)

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EPL: Tottenham thrash Man United 2-0

Ange Postecoglou enjoyed his first Premier League win as Tottenham manager thanks to two second-half goals against Manchester United.

Pape Matar Sarr put the hosts ahead with his first Spurs goal, cooly guiding home a side-footed half-volley from six yards after Dejan Kulusevski’s cross ricocheted off Lisandro Martinez.

Red Devils defender Martinez then scuffed Ben Davies’ mis-hit shot past his own keeper Andre Onana to gift Spurs a second late on to put the result beyond doubt.

The hosts almost led earlier, hitting the woodwork twice in a matter of seconds late in the first half as Pedro Porro’s shot crashed off the bar before Luke Shaw deflected Sarr’s return ball on to the post.

However, Erik ten Hag’s visitors were the better side for much of the first period and were made to rue a glaring miss from captain Bruno Fernandes, who sent an unmarked header well over from close range.

Sarr’s opener sparked United into renewed life as Antony curled an effort on to the post, Casemiro’s header forced Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario into a fine flying save.

The keeper also thwarted Raphael Varane, tipping his header on to the bar in the seventh minute of injury-time.

(BBC)

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