Amidst all of this talk about the fine form of Chelsea attack, with all three of Christian Pulisic, Willian and Olivier Giroud being in excellent form for the Blues, there is another area of the team that seems to be constantly evolving. Despite some mixed performances, Chelsea’s new midfield seems to be taking shape nicely. With two No.8’s and a No.6, there is a clear plan from Lampard and it’s obvious why a certain young German is a key transfer target.
Mason Mount has been used in a variety of positions this season. We’ve seen him used on the wing where his directness and sharp-shooting can cause a threat for opposition defenders, and more often than not we’ve seen him deployed at the very tip of a midfield three. However, it’s in Frank Lampard’s newest midfield that we’re seeing the very best of him so far. Despite being just 21, Mount is showing an impressive amount of adaptability and is already crucial in allowing the team to flourish.
The current set-up allows Mount and Ross Barkley to play alongside each other in the No.8 position. Whilst it has typically been N’Golo Kanté who sits at the base of this set-up, yesterday injury kept him from playing. In his place stood Billy Gilmour and as good as he has looked at times this season, against any extremely physical Crystal Palace midfield he looked slightly out of his depth. Whilst it certainly wasn’t a bad performance, the young Scotsman still has a lot to learn.
With the game in the balance with just 10 minutes to go, Frank Lampard opted to call in Jorginho to offer some much needed calmness to the midfield and it worked. Despite a few hair-raising moments in the dying seconds, the substitution completely changed the game. Instead of a Palace attack every minute, Chelsea were able to dominate possession. Having previously been dominated for much of the second half, Chelsea had 80% possession in the first 5 minutes of Jorginho’s game.
Frank Lampard clearly has a very set idea of how he wants his midfield to look and there is clearly a very specific profile of player he wants sitting at the bottom of his midfield. From what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it seems unlikely that Jorginho fits the bill. However, this is something Lampard must reconsider. In a squad of typically younger players, Jorginho is one of the few experienced leaders in the team and this was abundantly clear when he came on.
He didn’t just change the way that the position he occupied was played, he changed the entire way the team set up and moved the ball around, he dictated every piece of play. You only need to look at the stats to see a completely different quality of player to what Chelsea already had.
To me, there is a massive contrast between how Jorginho plays in games and how the parts of the fanbase actually think he plays. On the pitch he is a physical leader, the only real weak point to his game is just a complete lack of pace which we have seen him get caught out from a number of times. He isn’t just somebody who exchanges quick passes between the defence and midfield and in his short masterclass session yesterday, he completed seven long balls. Furthermore, he can also move the ball around effectively with his feet, whilst he isn’t going to drive with the ball, he does offer something in this regard.
Whilst rumours of Kai Havertz transfer from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea seem to gather more traction every week, it is imperative that Chelsea maintain the services of Jorginho if they truly want to get the most out of their new array of attacking talent.
What do you think of Jorginho? Does he have a future? Let us know in the comments below