Premier League • England

Arsenal could save millions as answer to Arteta midfield dilemma staring him straight in the face

Jorginho, Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Jorginho could end up saving Mikel Arteta millions this summer

Arsenal are being tipped to extend Jorginho’s contract at The Emirates, in a deal that could save the club millions in the summer, after his superb display in Sunday’s win over Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta was tipped to try and bolster his engine room with a new defensive midfielder in January, but after that failed to materialise it’s expected that the Gunners will still take that approach into the summer.

Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz is a player who has been continually linked with a switch to The Emirates, although Liverpool also remain keen on the Brazilian.

However, judging by the sensational display Jorginho put in against table-topping Liverpool over the weekend, Arteta could take the easy route and save the club millions by just extending the Italian’s contract.

The 32-year-old has entered the final five months of his current deal in north London but Arsenal have the option to keep him for a further year.

And after Sunday’s performance that decision looks an absolute no-brainer, with Jorginho having more passes and touches than any other player on the pitch. He also led the way for interceptions.

Speaking after the game, Arteta was clearly wowed by the veteran star, saying: “Unbelievable. 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 formed an outstanding partnership alongside Declan Rice against Jurgen Klopp’s men and was even given more licence to press higher up the pitch to affect play, which he did superbly.

Jorginho and Rice form perfect midfield tandem

And despite Jorginho earning most of the plaudits for the 3-1 win, he was quick to praise midfield partner Rice.

Speaking after the game, he said: “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. A player like this you always want on your team.”

Arsenal have struggled to find the right midfielder balance at times this term, but Jorginho has now staked a firm claim to stay in the side alongside Rice and Guinners skipper Martin Odegaard for the remainder of the season.

He is also one of the biggest talkers on pitch for what is a young Arsenal team and called for cool heads on Sunday when Arteta’s men 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 is also considered a hugely popular member of the first-team squad who has been lauded for his endless upbeat approach.

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Jorginho still looking to tick off Premier League title win

And, given the fact that he also has a Champions League and a European Championship with Italy amongst his collection, his experience in guiding the Gunners to Premier League glory could be critical going forward.

Indeed, Jorginho firmly believes the current group of players at Arteta’s disposal can beat their rivals to the ultimate domestic prize.

He added: “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]. 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.”

Jorghinho and Arsenal are back in action on Sunday when they head to London rivals West Ham in the Premier League.

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