Arsenal midfielder Jorginho has opened up on his decision to join the Premier League table toppers after being frozen out by Chelsea.
The Italy international was a key component of Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winning team but was reduced to a bit-part role under Graham Potter.
After Chelsea smashed the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez, the writing was on the wall for the former Napoli midfielder who wasn’t ready to play second fiddle to the young Argentine.
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A return to Napoli was touted, particularly by his agent, but the chance to compete for the Premier League title and play for Mikel Arteta, a manager who had huge admiration for a player who has been a divisive character during his time in England, proved too good a chance to resist.
Jorginho told DAZN: ‘It’s one of the reasons, surely,’ he confirmed to DAZN on Monday.
‘He called me and it was all very quick, we made the deal in less than 48 hours. I had spoken to Chelsea and I knew I was no longer part of their plans. I wanted to progress in my career and the Arsenal project suits me.
‘It’s a young team that plays good football and fits my characteristics. I considered every scenario and made the decision. Sometimes you must accept when you are out of a project and that things come to an end.’
It had been a tough few weeks for Arsenal with defeats against Everton and Man City, allied to a draw at home to Brentford, resulting in their eight point gap at the top disappearing.
A win over Aston Villa on Saturday, however, has lifted the mood again, particularly given Manchester City dropped two points at Nottingham.
Despite the loss against the reigning champions, Jorginho says confidence never wavered and revealed the group took heart from their performance against Pep Guardiola’s side.
He added: ‘No, if you look at the game, it was decided in the penalty boxes,” noted Jorginho.
‘You can’t commit certain mistakes against these champions at this level. We made mistakes, and they punished us.
‘After the game, I was confident because we played well,’ he continued.
‘We forced Man City to play long balls and not many teams do that, so it means we did good things.
‘We were disappointed with the result and the mistakes, but we remained calm because we knew we’d made many good things. If we don’t believe in it now, then when?’