Arsenal’s signing of Italian midfielder Jorginho from Chelsea has divided opinion among Premier League pundits.
In a surprising move, the Gunners completed the signing of the 2020 UEFA European Championship winner on the deadline day of the January transfer window. The 31-year-old signed for 18 months from the Gunners’ London rivals, who received a £10 million transfer fee and will receive an extra £2 million in add-ons.
His signing was in response to Arsenal’s failure to bring in their main midfield target Moises Caicedo, thanks to Brighton and Hove Albion rejecting their £60 million and £70 million bids respectively.
Other midfield targets were considered by the North London club including Valencia man Yunus Musah and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. Instead, Arsenal fans will have to make do with another former Chelsea player as they cheer their team to a first Premier League title in two decades.
The Italian’s signing has elicited mixed reactions from all and sundry, with two Premier League legends turned pundits especially disagreeing on the signing.
Six-time Premier League champion and former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand spoke highly of Arsenal’s decision to bring Jorginho to the Emirates while Harry Redknapp disagreed.
Ferdinand aired his opinion on his YouTube channel as he covered the activities of deadline day while Redknapp aired his disagreement on talkSPORT, where he was doing the same alongside other pundits.
Ferdinand said: “I think it’s a good signing. It’s shrewd.
“I’ve been known to criticise Jorginho. And even just to clarify that, I was criticising him because the way Chelsea played at the beginning when he was there didn’t help him.
“Whatever you think of him, on the ball, he’s a fine passer of the ball, especially cutting through the lines, he keeps it ticking. I don’t see him being a starter for Arsenal, I’ve got to be honest.
“Everything I hear about him as a pro has been positive. Nothing but positive. In the changing room, he’s a leader.”
Redknapp, on the other hand, disagreed based on the same issues Ferdinand pointed out. “No, I wouldn’t see where he would fit”, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp said on talkSPORT.
“I couldn’t see him getting in the team. He’s obviously a top player, I mean that Arsenal team at the moment, in that starting XI there’s not many places up for grabs in that team.”
Jorginho leaves Chelsea after four and a half seasons. In that time, he became a UEFA Champions League winner, a UEFA Europa League winner, a UEFA Super Cup winner and a FIFA Club World Cup winner.