Thomas Tuchel given £41m quick-fix reminder as Chelsea faces decision amid midfield dilemma


Jorginho is far from the most popular figure among Chelsea fans, but following the Blues’ submission to Arsenal, the 30-year-old remains Thomas Tuchel’s short-term midfield solution. The west Londoners paid the price for his absence as the Gunners waltzed away from Stamford Bridge 4-2 victors.

Mikel Arteta’s side invited a great deal of pressure and encouraged Chelsea to play a high-line. The Blues enjoyed the majority of possession while Arsenal had their backs to the wall, though so much so that Tuchel’s side began to lose its shape.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante starred in the German’s pivot, but neither anchored Chelsea’s midfield, and instead, they took up positions archetypal of where you might expect to find the inside-forwards. As a result, Andreas Christensen, the centre of the back-three, conducted possession, meaning that the midfield duo received possession with their back to goal more so than face-fronting — had Jorginho been present in the pivot, then the dynamic would likely have been different.

With the Italian in the starting eleven, Chelsea would have been armed with a metronome who could’ve dictated the team’s play and kept possession ticking. As pictured below, the Blues’ passing network from the latest defeat to Arsenal depicts a sizeable gap in the heart of midfield — and, had the £41m-rated, as per Transfermarkt, midfielder been able to plug said gap, then it could’ve been a different story.

While Jorginho has proved his ability to control games at the highest level, hindsight is a wonderful thing. In the past, the Italian has also proven he is susceptible to being whisked off his feet when the tide turns in midfield — like so against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final.