Premier League • England

Ian Wright names Arsenal star Bayern will ‘target’ to end Arteta’s Champions League dream

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel

Ian Wright has expressed concern about Mikel Arteta's Arsenal

Ian Wright is fearful that Bayern Munich could pounce on Jorginho and use him as a trigger to plot the downfall of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the Champions League.

With Thomas Partey unavailable for large parts of the season, Arteta has generally selected Jorginho in a midfield three with Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard. The Italian has shown his class by dictating the tempo of matches from deep, getting stuck in to prevent opposition attacks and also allowing Rice and Odegaard to get forward.

Indeed, Jorginho has won the Man of the Match award during Arsenal’s victories over Liverpool and Newcastle United in recent months. This has prompted Arteta to label the central midfielder ‘world-class’ as he is ‘magnificent’ at controlling matches from the centre of the pitch.

However, Jorginho could not repeat such a performance against Porto on Tuesday. He was overran by Porto midfielders Pepe and Alan Varela as Arsenal surprisingly struggled to get hold of the match.

Jorginho was replaced by Gabriel Jesus in the 83rd minute, though Arsenal did manage to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals as goalkeeper David Raya proved to be the penalty shoot-out hero.

The Gunners will face Bayern in the last eight of the competition. If they get past the German giants then they will play either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the semis.

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Wright has expressed concern about Jorginho being a ‘target’ for Bayern and Arsenal’s other potential Champions League opponents.

“The problem I feel we might have is that if Jorginho is playing in those games – I think the more that’s on the line and the more we need to control games, the more Jorginho has a chance of playing – so, I think people will cater for him,” the former striker said on his Wrighty’s House podcast.

Jorginho was ‘so ineffective’ against Porto

“And people will watch this game and think, ‘hmm…’ In the end, they took Jorginho off and remember, he’s a penalty taker.

“He was so ineffective because he did not get the chance to turn and do his stuff. I think teams will probably target that because that has really curtailed us.”

Bayern do have the perfect central attacking midfielders to cause Jorginho problems, too. Thomas Tuchel can either use vastly experienced option Thomas Muller there or rising star Jamal Musiala.

Before Arsenal’s first leg against Bayern on April 9, they have league matches against Manchester City, Luton Town and Brighton to contend with.

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