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Jorginho Says He Is 'More Free' Under Frank Lampard Than Maurizio Sarri

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2019

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - JULY 19: Jorginho of Chelsea in action during the preseason friendly match between Kawasaki Frontale and Chelsea at Nissan Stadium on July 19, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
Masashi Hara/Getty Images

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. 

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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:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

Nice half of football from Chelsea. Kovacic & Jorginho performing well at the base of midfield, Pedro & Pulisic providing plenty of energy from the flanks & Abraham getting into good positions #cfc

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:

Squawka Football @Squawka

@_Steve_Jennings Jorginho for Chelsea in the 2018-19 Premier League season: • Most passes (3,119) • Most recoveries (274) • Most interceptions (63) • Second-most tackles (76) Maurizio Sarri's favourite. 👨‍🎓 https://t.co/ZT1eiJyZxQ

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.

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