Jorginho struggled to convince former boss Rafa Benitez of his quality, but is now blossoming into a fine player under expansive Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri.
The Brazilian-born Italian joined the Neapolitan outfit from Hellas Verona in January 2014 on a co-ownership deal for a four-and-a-half-year period.
He was expected to slot straight into the side, having already amassed 96 appearances in total for the Gialloblu at a relatively young age.
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Despite regular involvement to the tune of 12 Serie A starts and three substitute outings during an opening half-season spent at the San Paolo, his time on the pitch dwindled throughout the next campaign.
Jorginho was utilised 23 times in league action, but only 14 were accumulated due to his inclusion within the starting line-up.
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It seemed certain that he would leave Naples if previous coach Benitez remained, but Sarri took over at the helm to gift the midfielder a whole new lease of life.
A TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES
The 23-year-old emigrated from Brazil to Italy as a teenager in 2007, which led to his eventual naturalisation in the European country.
His development began at the Hellas Verona academy, subsequently spending a successful season out on loan at Serie C side Sambonifacese, who are based within the Veneto region.
There he featured 31 times in the league, scoring once and providing ten assists throughout his first taste of senior football.
Jorginho then helped Verona to promotion into the top flight in 2013, and he continued to shine at the higher level in order to bag a lucrative switch to Napoli.
The Versuviani finally took over full ownership of the player last summer, but it appeared that would be only a temporary arrangement before he found another home.
However, Benitez left for Real Madrid, and his replacement Sarri has since found a place in the side for his promising starlet.
COMING OF AGE
Jorginho has been a revelation in a deep-lying playmaker – regista – role for the Partenopei this term, making 15 league appearances thus far.
As his stated idol Andrea Pirlo did previously at Juventus, the elegant midfielder dictates play from a position just in front of his defence, whilst executing short and long passes with exquisite vision.
One criticism that has been levelled at him in the past is his distinct lack of physical power, which does cause him to be knocked off the ball occasionally.
But, he’s getting stronger as time progresses, plus his vast skill on the ball and ability to pick out a pass usually keeps him out of trouble.
Former AC Milan and Juve favourite Pirlo proved it entirely possible for a deep-lying central midfielder to succeed without the requirement for brute strength, which Jorginho’s splendid form is serving to further demonstrate.
His performances have been impressive enough to prompt transfer interest from abroad; not least Arsenal, who require stiffer competition for the likes of Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta and Matthieu Flamini.
Unfortunately for the Gunners, he has only recently signed a contract extension that will see him remain at the club until 2020.
Meanwhile, both Brazil and Italy are fighting it out for the right to his international registration, as he qualifies for both countries through possession of an Italian passport.
The Italy under-21 side have already capped him, but he hasn’t featured for the senior side as yet, despite declaring an interest in representing his adopted nation at the 2014 World Cup shortly before he was omitted from the final squad selection.
Should his sparkling displays continue though, he could find himself the subject of some huge transfer bids over the coming months, whilst perhaps forcing his way into Antonio Conte’s thinking ahead of Euro 2016.
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