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Arsenal: 'Unbelievable' Jorginho offers best midfield solution with contract decision a no-brainer

Arsenal are set for a busy transfer window this summer - and the best way for them to kick it off would be by extending Jorginho’s contract.

The midfielder has entered the final five months of his current deal and Arsenal have the option to keep him for a further year.

After Sunday’s win over Liverpool, that feels like a no-brainer as Jorginho showed he still has plenty to offer.

The 32-year-old was everywhere, having more passes and touches than any other player on the pitch. He also topped the charts for interceptions.

“Unbelievable,” is how Mikel Arteta described his performance. “I’ve always said that he’s an example, a role model.

“Jorgi’s a really intelligent player, his biggest quality is that he makes the people around him better, he connects everybody, and he was unbelievable.”

Jorginho excelled alongside Declan Rice and he was given the licence to press higher up the pitch.

Jorginho delivered an Arsenal midfield masterclass alongside Declan Rice against Liverpool (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Jorginho delivered an Arsenal midfield masterclass alongside Declan Rice against Liverpool (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

It was a different role for the Italian, who usually plays at the base of midfield, and he helped set the tempo for the way Arsenal defended from the front.

There has often been a fear that Jorginho can struggle in games of this pace, but with Rice alongside him the 32-year-old has the perfect partner.

“He (Rice) is a great player, as you can see out there. He just pushes himself to the limit to help the team and he has been a massive help for the team,” said Jorginho. “A player like this you always want on your team.”

Arsenal have struggled to find a settled midfield this season following Granit Xhaka’s departure last summer, but Jorginho has staked his claim to get a run in the side now alongside Martin Odegaard and Rice.

Emile Smith Rowe, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard have all been tried as the left No8, however Jorginho’s experience could be the best solution as the run-in begins.

Although he caught the eye with his work off the ball on Sunday, the Italian is vital because he brings control to the midfield.

Few players in the squad can match his level of tactical knowledge and, even when he is on the bench, Jorginho tries to coach his team-mates from the sidelines.

He is one of the loudest players in the dressing room and called for cool heads on Sunday when Arsenal conceded a sloppy equaliser just before the break.

“I kind of do [talk a lot]. But it’s all in a positive way, just trying to help because the team was brilliant in the first half, so we couldn’t let the goal effect us,” he said.

“We just had to go back out there and do what we had done in the first 45 minutes. What I see, I just try to help how I can. If it’s talking from the outside, I will do that just to try and help the boys.”

"Jorginho's a really intelligent player, his biggest quality is that he makes the people around him better, he connects everybody, and he was unbelievable"

Mikel Arteta

Even if he couldn’t help dancing to ABBA at the full-time whistle - which will not have gone down well with Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville - Jorginho brings a level of maturity to a young Arsenal team.

He is a popular player at the training ground, mainly because of his upbeat attitude and the fact he routinely greets people with a huge bearhug.

The Champions League and European Championship rank among the Italian’s trophy collection, and that experience of getting over the line is important given that much of this Arsenal squad have never won anything.

Jorginho believes this group has got what it takes to go all the way in the title race as he has noticed a change in their attitude.

“It would mean a lot [to win the Premier League],” said Jorginho. “That one is missing to tick [off].

"We need to enjoy the moment and push really hard every single game. At the end, we will see. We have to do a lot and we have to push a lot. We are on the right path.

“I mean, we believe we can play against any team. We can beat any team, that’s the reality. It (the team’s psychology) is getting more mature.”