Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has said he has more freedom under new manager Frank Lampard than he did under his predecessor, Maurizio Sarri.
The Italy international arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer, following Sarri from Napoli to west London. Jorginho played exclusively at the base of midfield in 2018-19 and was the man tasked with controlling the tempo of the game from a deep position.
With Sarri having left Chelsea to join Juventus, Jorginho's role with the Blues was always going to be interesting under Lampard. The playmaker has said he's enjoying working under his new boss, per the club's official website:
"My characteristics are to control the game, stay in the middle and organise the team, but I can adapt as well. It's new for me and it will take a little bit of time, but I like it and we are working well. I have more space to create, and I'm more free so I can do many things with my creativity.
"Last season we had three midfielders and now we have two so we need to run a lot, but I think we can do a lot of good things like this."
Lampard has moved away from the 4-3-3 system used by Sarri in pre-season, instead opting to set his side up in a 4-2-3-1.
In the 2-1 win against Barcelona, Jorginho operated in one of the two deeper midfield positions, and his pressing helped to set up Tammy Abraham for the Blues' opening goal. Football journalist Liam Twomey commented on a positive performance from the 27-year-old:
Working under Sarri, it was clear Jorginho had to follow strict instructions and needed to play with discipline on the field.
At Napoli—and in spells at Chelsea—he was an excellent deep-sitting playmaker. Jorginho is intelligent at finding space, can wriggle away from pressure and has a fine passing range, meaning he can thread delicate passes into team-mates or boom long balls out to the flanks.
However, there's more to his game than just controlling the tempo of matches, as these figures from Squawka Football illustrate:
Lampard has already spoken about Jorginho's place in the squad and his leadership skills:
Squawka News @SquawkaNews
Frank Lampard on Jorginho's attitude in training: "He runs, he pushes people around him, he drags people up when he doesn’t feel they’re working as much as he might want – and I’ve loved seeing that. Working with him for 10 days, I can’t ask for any more. I’m delighted.” https://t.co/ky61hpA31t
Chelsea have an abundance of midfield options, meaning Jorginho will need to perform well to get regular game time. In addition to the Italian, Lampard has N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek vying for similar spots in the starting XI.
For Jorginho, the change in system and style may take some getting used to, having worked for so long under Sarri and carrying out a specific job. It will be intriguing to see whether Lampard, one of the best midfielders of the Premier League era, is capable of adding new facets to his game.