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Between dreams and reality – Jorginho keen on new Arsenal contract

Away on international duty with Italy, Arsenal midfielder Jorginho cannot rest easy knowing his contract in north London is expiring.

Having entered the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium, the 31-year-old midfielder is anxious to understand the club’s plans for his immediate future.

In this regard, his agent Joao Santos had a comprehensive interview with Tuttomercatoweb, where he outlined his client’s desire to continue his career at Arsenal despite acknowledging a standstill in extension talks.

“Everything is at a standstill,” he said. “We’ll think about it after February. However, the priority remains Arsenal.”

Despite being handed the captain’s armband in the last two Premier League matches, Jorginho’s bid to renew his contract could be wishful thinking.

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

Arsenal brought Jorginho from Chelsea in January 2023. His arrival differed from the club’s typical business pattern during Mikel Arteta’s tenure.

Of all the players to have joined the Gunners under the Spaniard’s stewardship, he was the only 30-year-old to have landed a contract at the Emirates.

All others were 27 at most. So why did Arteta sign him in the first place?

The Gunners were battling a severe injury crisis when former Pep Guardiola’s assistant decided to rescue Jorginho from his misery at Chelsea.

Emile Smith Rowe, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey were in the infirmary, leaving Arsenal with Martin Odegaard and Fabio Vieira as the only senior options in the engine room.

Though the former was already an established star and the club’s captain, the latter was going through a rough adaption period.

It means Jorginho was an emergency signing, the one whom Arteta only trusted to start after the Gunners had already lost the Premier League title race to Manchester City last term.

Arsenal’s proactive recruitment campaign in the summer further derailed Jorginho’s first-team prospects.

The club’s decision to part with around £170 million to capture Declan Rice and Kai Havertz unequivocally showed how Arteta felt about the Brazilian-born midfielder’s early impact.

While Jorginho has temporarily benefitted from a new injury crisis in north London, it won’t last forever. Sooner or later, the stalwarts will return, forcing his inevitable demotion to the bench.

Playing second fiddle to anyone is not an option for a player of his stature.

Maybe a return to his homeland, where he still has admirers – starting with his former club Napoli – could be the most realistic option for the deep-lying playmaker at the end of the season.

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