Arsenal new boy Jorginho has revealed that manager Mikel Arteta had a “big influence” in his deadline-day move from Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium.
The 31-year-old became the Gunners’ third and final signing of the winter transfer window on Tuesday, penning an 18-month contract with an option to extend until 2025.
Arsenal are believed to have paid an upfront fee of £10m to sign Jorginho, who had entered the final six months of his Chelsea deal and was also being linked with Barcelona.
The fee could rise to a total of £12m with performance-related add-ons, and Jorginho arrives to provide competition and cover for Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in the engine room.
Speaking to arsenal.com after penning his contract, the former Napoli man explained how Arteta tried to sign him numerous times in the past, but it was not because of his “wishes” that a move to North London did not happen earlier.
“He was a big influence because I know that he tried a few times to get me before and it didn’t happen due to other reasons, not because of my wishes. So of course, he had a big influence,” Jorginho said.
“I’m very excited for this new challenge, and I just can’t wait to be on the pitch to be honest! Everything has happened so fast. I was a bit surprised, but I took the opportunity of this amazing challenge. It’s an important shirt. It’s an amazing club, a big one, and I’m really excited and happy to be here.”
Jorginho recorded 29 goals and nine assists from 213 games in a Chelsea shirt after joining from Napoli in 2018, winning the Champions League, Club World Cup, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup at Stamford Bridge.
The Euro 2020 winner – who was also named UEFA’s Best Player in Europe for 2021 – scored three goals in 25 games for Chelsea in the 2022-23 season, and he played the full 90 in the Blues’ 1-0 Premier League defeat to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in November.
Jorginho – who also witnessed Arsenal subject Chelsea to a 4-0 beating in pre-season – admitted that he was not surprised by Arsenal’s recent rise, adding: “It was tough, it was a hard time!
“Even in pre-season we had a friendly match, and I could feel and see that Arsenal would do very well this season. So, when we faced each other again at Stamford Bridge, it wasn’t a surprise for me at all.
“I’ll try to just bring positive energy, hard work and my experience to help the team. It’s what I always bring with me.
“I try just to help with the experience I’ve had in my time with the other clubs and anything I can do just to help the team to achieve more and more, that’s my target. All I can promise is that I’m going to give my all to represent this club.”
Jorginho reinforces an Arsenal midfield that has lost Mohamed Elneny to a serious knee injury, with the 30-year-old potentially missing the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.
Despite losing Elneny for a number of months, the Gunners still allowed the out-of-favour Albert Sambi Lokonga to join Crystal Palace on a deadline-day loan deal until the end of the season.
Jorginho could make his debut for Arsenal when the Premier League leaders travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
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