Halfway through the 2022-23 Premier League season, Arsenal remain atop the Premier League table. The Gunners currently hold a five-point advantage over second-place Manchester City with a game-in-hand. However, there is no such thing as a comfortable lead with the current holders chasing their tail.
Thus, it’s no surprise that Arsenal have made a huge move on transfer deadline day to bolster their thin midfield, securing the transfer of Chelsea outcast Jorginho for £10 million with a potential £2 million in add-ons ($14,765,640 million total). The current league leaders then signed the 31-year old central midfielder to a one-and-a-half year deal, with an option to extend his contract until 2025.
This is a transfer that appears to be long overdue. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed his interest in the Italian midfielder as early as 2020 amid their pursuit of Thomas Partey back then. And now, two and a half years later, and the Gunners boss has acquired his man.
Arsenal’s pursuit of Jorginho came out of nowhere in the past 24 hours; such a move became necessary after it became increasingly clear that Brighton and Hove Albion wouldn’t budge on their reluctance to let go of 21-year old midfielder Moises Caicedo.
While it’s difficult to envision Arsenal fans becoming too upset over signing the Italian midfielder as a backup option, the club’s history of signing other Chelsea rejects may leave a sour taste on the mouths of some Gooners.
However, there’s no question that Arsenal was in dire need of midfield reinforcement, particularly behind the controversial Thomas Partey. Partey’s legal status following his alleged wrongdoing remains up in the air, and he has not been particularly durable during his time in North London.
Moreover, the Gunners fear that Mohamed Elneny, Partey’s primary backup, has suffered a major injury. Meanwhile, another backup midfielder in Albert Sambi Lokonga, who struggled defensively during Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, appears to be on his way to Crystal Palace on loan.
Simply put, Arsenal needed to sign a midfielder to fuel their surprising title charge. And with the clock ticking, it’s difficult to imagine getting a better plug and play option than Jorginho, the experienced midfielder who helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2021.