Lampard clearly wants Chelsea to return to the Mourinho days playing a double-pivot, which means a DLP (Fabregas type of midfielder) is now important to Chelsea’s midfield. Anytime the “Fabregas replacement” phrase comes up amongst our fan base, the first name mentioned is the visionary Italian penalty-taker in Jorginho. Yet, now also mentioned is the emergent, small-statured prospect Gilmour, as both are suitable players for the role.
These two are the best play-setters at the club, and while Jorginho has been the man starting most matches, Gilmour’s recent performances have fans bickering about which deep-lying playmaker is better. The following discussion will look at both players to debate which one is truly the right fit for Chelsea’s system.
To be honest, I am slightly biased towards Jorginho, as he is arguably my favorite player. I was constantly backing him last season against every critic. Furthermore, his adaptation shown in his ability to transition into another system has given me even more of a reason to support him.
However, almost every Chelsea fan enjoys seeing an academy graduate make a debut, let alone boss a match. Gilmour’s performance versus Liverpool is the highlight of his progress. He won both the physical and mental battle against a world dominating midfield. From what I’ve observed in the two players, here are my cases for each.
Analyzing both players, Jorginho has the upper hand in experience. He has a rich understanding of the game having played a reasonable number of matches for club and country, which is an instrumental factor for a successful player in the English Premier League. Jorginho is technically sound on the ball and has exceptional vision for putting the ball at the foot of a fast-breaking Chelsea attacker.
Gilmour is a sky-high, technically sound player with great composure and has the ability to pick out passes all across the pitch. His ease of settling into the team shouldn’t be a big surprise, as he is already used to competing against senior-level players early on from his academy days. He is overly mobile, isn’t afraid to go forward, sets plays and is constantly tracking runs in behind the defense. His skill set has already brought him two Man of The Match Awards after just three starts for Chelsea.
Gilmour’s performance got Roy Keane out of his seat, which is noteworthy because Keane is a pundit that can be described as “hard-to-impress.” Keane was intrigued by Chelsea’s young Scottish midfielder: “I was sitting at home having a cup of tea and some chocolate and I didn’t have the volume on, as the game started I literally got out of my seat and said, ‘who is this kid in midfield?’ . . . I kept a close eye on him for the rest of the game, everything he done throughout the game had quality written all over it.”
To refute the point that Gilmour doesn’t have much “experience,” experience doesn’t need to be a defining factor for top footballing qualities. Immense quality can compensate for inexperience, and that is applicable to Gilmour. Cesc Fabregas made his debut for Arsenal at the age of 16, and before turning 18, he had made over 70 PL appearances for the club, while consistently putting in great performances. So, using experience to displace Gilmour from the first team isn’t de règle.
What makes Jorginho sensational are his vision and technique. He currently holds the record for the most completed passes in a single game. His anticipation and decision making abilities allow him to deal with oncoming pressure, which allows Chelsea to maintain more ball possession. Equally notable is his accurate penalty taking: Jorginho is a reliable penalty taker for Chelsea and Italy.
For Jorginho to stand unaffected by the number of criticisms and boos that he faced last season just shows how strong of a mentality he has. His effective leadership traits rewarded him with the vice-captain role at Chelsea, despite this only being his second season at the club. He is a real game changer. You can trace his story, from frustrations at Italy and a failed return to Brazil, to ultimately refining his skills as one of the best at his position. His story explains how his mentality and skill-set can influence a game when he is on pitch.
Being a Jorginho lover doesn’t force me to downplay what Gilmour has contributed to this Chelsea team when looking at the two recent matches. Back-to-back MOTM awards are an exceptional accomplishment for an 18-year old midfielder, especially when outclassing many veterans on the pitch, and when the team has been struggling. Gilmour’s performances made Chelsea midfield look world class.
These are the some of the talking points surrounding both players, so now it’s time for you to decide: Who is the better player? Should Chelsea sell Jorginho at the expense of Gilmour?