'Couldn't get close to him': Sean Longstaff names Jorginho as toughest opponent

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has named Chelsea’s Jorginho as one of the toughest midfielders he has played against.

When you think about Jorginho, he doesn’t really come across as a player who would give someone a hard time on the pitch.

He does not dribble past opponents like Mateo Kovacic; or chase opponents with an explosive pace like N’Golo Kante.

You could even argue that the Italy international lacks the physicality to compete with usually bigger, faster midfielders in the Premier League.

But when speaking in a Facebook Live Q&A with Experience Ltd, Newcastle’s rising star Sean Longstaff spoke about how Jorginho’s ball-playing skills agitated him.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Asked about his toughest opponents (as quoted by Chronicle Live): “To be honest, there have been a few.

“I think when we played away at Chelsea, Jorginho, who just sits at the bottom of their little three, was unreal, to be honest.

“He hardly ever gave the ball away but was always looking to break lines or play forward passes, which is a big thing.

“You couldn’t really get close to him because you sort of look at him and think, ‘He can’t really run great or he can’t do whatever’ but you put a ball at his feet and he’s unbelievable.

“I think Jorginho was one of the better ones.”

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Longstaff has come up against Jorginho twice this season, where Chelsea and Newcastle each won their home game.

The loss at St. James Park is arguably one of the most frustrating ones for the Blues this season as they dominated the possession (65%) throughout the game and eventually conceded a late winner just before the whistle (Isaac Hayden, 90+4′).

The North Shields-born midfielder also mentioned Manchester United’s Paul Pogba as another midfielder he had a tough time playing against, stressing on the France international’s physical superiority.

 

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.