Arsenal went into the Moises Caicedo negotiations with a view of making the deal happen for a somewhat respectable price. An overpayment for his services was a given considering the timing and Brighton’s strong position in regard to the length of his contract. But even with that in mind they choose not to go THAT much over the odds and to back out of the deal in the end.
Brighton have played their hand extremely well, planning for both contingencies of the deal and leaving everything open for either a club record fee deal or a reconcilement with the player once the transfer window closes. From De Zerbi speaking about it to their actions with Caicedo himself, they left no space for them to be played.
BUT Arsenal finally moved on…
When these Jorginho links first appeared, I was shocked as much as the rest of the fanbase. The drop-off from Caicedo to Jorginho is a big one and Arsenal fans have every reason to be disappointed (bare with me here, it’s not all negative).
One is a midfield dynamo, offering an endless amount of energy, physicality and a bit of everything on the ball while the other is a liability in open spaces and leaves a lot to be desired off the ball.
There were talks of Vitoria’s Bamba, Everton’s Onana and Sociedad’s Zubimendi with the latter looking like the only one who can control the tempo of midfield and play as a lone #6. We reportedly enquired about him and Sociedad had a RC or nothing stance, with them being more open to a summer sale.
THE DEALING OF IT
Jorginho has completed medical tests and he’s set to sign the contract as new Arsenal player until June 2024 with an option until 2025 🚨⚪️🔴 #AFC
£10m plus £2m fee confirmed.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2023
A £10m+£2m, 1.5 year doesn’t sound that bad but think most of the fanbase is rightfully disappointed when we consider what we could have got and what we are getting. Does it go against what Arsenal are building at the club with a young and exciting core? Yes. Especially when it seemed we’ve learned something from the Willian and Cedric deals but the length of the deal makes it somewhat better. The relatively low fee means we can put all our eggs into the summer window basket and compete for premium names like Declan Rice.
Nonetheless, Jorginho knows how to play as a lone #6 and that’s a role he’s familiar with. Despite his obvious physical flaws for Partey’s role, he knows how to control the tempo of games. I’m once again reverting to my same old “environment makes players“ saying and believe the circumstances for him to shine in a better light (on and off the ball) are better for him in this Arsenal side than at Chelsea.
Off the ball, he’ll be surrounded by physical monsters in Martinelli, Gabriel, Saliba and co. Our distances between lines are great and situations, where he’s left in complete isolation against players, shouldn’t happen often. Just like Zinchenko isn’t (remember the bad defender talk in the summer?).
We often use Thomas Partey as the corrector to our press and not someone who actively engages higher to push the opposition into mistakes. Jorginho has no physical capabilities to act in the exact same way but he can play that sweeping role behind Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka when needs must, he ranks in 88th and 87th percentile for tackles and interceptions respectfully. He needs an abundance of high-energy players around him though.
Even though Mikel Arteta is huge on his duels, I still feel he knows that not everyone can play that #6 role for us as Albert Sambi Lokonga has shown. You need a high-volume passer back there and Jorginho has experience in the role. He has a good understanding of deep midfield as he’s shown during his good periods with Chelsea and Napoli especially. But like I said he needs his Allan’s and Kante’s close by to shine.
Considering the information we have so far regarding Mohamed Elneny’s injury being more severe than we first thought and Lokonga going out on loan, it’s safe to say Jorginho’s role is that of a backup CM/DM. Bringing a volume passer on to kill games off is another positive.
Thomas Partey has shown he can have his own fair share of injury issues and Jorginho is here to make that awful scenario not become even worse if it was to happen.
Elneny was a safety valve whenever that did happen and he generally did well for most of the time he stepped into action. Lokonga couldn’t get the hang of the position as much as we wanted and Arsenal HAD to get someone in. Even if you’re completely unhappy about this transfer, you can find solace in the fact that having a cover is better than not having one. Especially in a season of this magnitude. As a short-term fix, let’s hope he does OK.