Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Newcastle: Ashworth eyeing Jorginho move

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Newcastle United are believed to be considering a move for Chelsea midfielder, Jorginho, with the Italy international yet to commit his future to the west London outfit.

What’s the word?

According to the Daily Mail, the 31-year-old is said to be a ‘prime target’ for Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth ahead of the January transfer window, with the northeast side seemingly looking to strengthen their midfield ranks in the New Year.

The Brazil-born maestro could well prove to be an attainable target as a result of his ongoing contract uncertainty at Stamford Bridge, with the 46-cap gem having just six months remaining on his existing deal with the Blues.

That would ensure that the Tynesiders could potentially strike a cut-price deal next month, or land the former Napoli man on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Busquets-esque

The £110k-per-week ace has been pulling the strings in the centre of the park for both club and country in recent years, having notably finished third in the Ballon d’Or rankings in 2021 after claiming the Champions League and European Championship glory in that calendar year.

Despite that success, the 5 foot 10 genius is still somewhat “underappreciated” – according to talkSPORT pundit Trevor Sinclair – with the playmaker’s brilliance perhaps sometimes going under the radar.

A clinical presence from the penalty spot – having scored 19 spot-kicks in his Premier League career to date – it is his quality in possession that has particularly caught the eye, with the one-time Hellas Verona ace enjoying an 85% pass accuracy rate in the top-flight this term.

That knack for dictating the tempo of the game can see him likened to Spain and Barcelona legend, Sergio Busquets, with the two men said to share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, as per FBref.

That comparison is an astute one as the pair are both orchestrators from their deep-lying roles at the base of the midfield, with Jorginho ranking in the top 7% in Europe among those in his position for attempted passes, while Busquets ranks in the top 5% for that same metric.

That forward-thinking approach is also showcased by the fact that the latter man ranks in the top 11% for progressive passes, while the Chelsea man ranks in the top 10% in that regard as a sign of his ability to initiate attacks from deep.

Such likeness is a marker of just what a gifted figure Jorginho truly is, with Busquets having been recognised as one of the finest of his era over the last decade or so, with current Manchester United man Casemiro having previously dubbed the Spaniard the “best in the world” in that role.

The 34-year-old has won a plethora of major honours for both club and country to date, while notably racking up 696 appearances for La Blaugrana, as well as 143 caps at international level prior to his recent post-World Cup retirement.

To be compared to such a talent truly does illustrate Jorginho’s undoubted prowess, with it set to prove a real coup if Ashworth can bring the latter man to St James’ Park in 2023.

Numisteamone

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