Declan Rice has heaped praise on Arsenal teammate Jorginho.
Since his club-record £105 million arrival at the Emirates Stadium this summer, Rice has quickly established himself as a key figure in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI. He was named as the Gunners’ official player of the month for August, and produced a magic moment just before the international break with a late goal against Manchester United.
Rice’s arrival in north London arguably wasn’t such good news for Jorginho, though. With Thomas Partey also still at the club, the 31-year-old is now seemingly third-choice for the single-pivot defensive midfield role that Arteta uses in his system.
However, Partey’s recent injury could mean more game time for Jorginho, and the 48-cap Italy international has been brought on from the bench by Arteta three times already this season. What’s more, his experience and leadership make him an invaluable member of this generally very young Arsenal squad.
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Rice says Jorginho stands out at Arsenal
With Arsenal looking to compete on all fronts this season, and with Champions League football back on the schedule, Jorginho will be needed as Arteta will have to regularly rotate his team. Despite the increased competition for places at the club, the man Arsenal paid £12 million to sign from Chelsea in January will get plenty of chances to shine throughout the campaign.
When those opportunities do come, Rice expects Jorginho to prove his enduring quality. When asked in an interview with Channel 4 about midfielders who have impressed him, Rice said, “the one who has surprised me so much, not surprised me because I knew he was such a good player anyway, but playing with him every day in training & seeing how he is, because he’s not the biggest, is Jorginho.”
“His brain, the way it works as a holding midfielder – I’ve been trying to pick up little things off him. He’s always in position, always knows when to pass, always creates time for himself.”
“He’s an outstanding trainer and l’ve been trying to take little bits from his game as well.”
On top of his own contributions on the pitch, Jorginho will prove doubly useful to Arsenal this season if he can help Rice himself get even better.
Given how demanding Arteta is of his squad in terms of dedication and professionalism, the Spanish coach will be delighted with the example that Jorginho is setting at London Colney.