Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is hoping his new role under Frank Lampard will help deliver his first Premier League assists.
The Italian followed Maurizio Sarri from Napoli last summer but despite registering the highest number of passes in the Premier League during 2018/19 (2782), he failed to provide a single assist.
But Sarri – who won the Europa League with the Blues – has already departed for Juventus, with Lampard coming in as his replacement, and Jorginho is hoping his new role under the Chelsea legend can help him be more creative in the final third.
“I think I am more aggressive. I learnt a lot last season with intensity and aggressiveness in our system. I can help my team-mates this season,” he said.
“My characteristics are to be there and to control the game, organise the team. I stay in the middle and my team-mates can go to attack. Maybe it will mean more assists this year, maybe not.”
It is looking increasingly likely that Jorginho will be deployed alongside N’Golo Kante in a double pivot, in contrast to him being the sole deep-lying playmaker in Sarri’s 4-3-3 last season.
And having the energetic Kante next to him may well free up Jorginho to be more adventurous with the ball.
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“It is new for me in this formation – but I like it,” he added. “I have more space to create and it means I am more free and I can do more things with my creativity. I think I can adapt.
“Of course you need a little bit of time but we are working very well. We have put in a lot of work. We tried to push and it worked well against Barcelona.
“Last season we had three midfielders, and now we are in a two. We are trying to work hard and we need to run a lot! But I think we can do many good things.”
“Sarri was not my friend”
Many Chelsea fans fell out of love with Sarri’s style of play midway through last season, with many also seeing Jorginho as his manager’s closest ally. As a result, the 27-year-old has been the victim of some harsh treatment himself.
However, Jorginho has insisted his relationship with Sarri was purely professional, claiming his compatriot was his manager, not his friend.
He said: “Sarri was my manager, he wasn’t my friend.
“We worked together for four years but now this is another time, another page, another chapter, another time in my life.
“I look for that now. Sarri left, and I stayed here, and I need to do a job for my team now at Chelsea.
“Of course I want to stay for a long time. I have a long contract here, another four years, and I am very happy at the moment at Chelsea.”