Exclusive: Pat Nevin says he was a big fan of Chelsea player way before he became popular

Pat Nevin told the Chelsea Chronicle he has always been a big advocate of Jorginho, even during his dubious days of the Maurizio Sarri era.

Jorginho is currently one of the most praised players on the planet, due to his European Championship achievements with Italy.

He was one of the tournament’s standout stars, with the statistics to boast.

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

UEFA noted the 29-year-old covered more distance than anybody else (86.6km) in the competition.

Opta also added the midfielder made 25 interceptions across the campaign, the highest figure recorded since such data was available at the Euros.

Shouts for Jorginho to be put up for the Ballon d’Or are being sung from the terraces as well.

Not always the nice guy

However, Chelsea’s orchestrator was not always this popular.

After signing for the Blues in 2018, he seriously split opinion due to his often-perceived passive style of play.

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

But this was simply adhering to the demands of his manager at the time, Maurizio Sarri.

Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel have since worked with the Italian, but his footballing philosophy has always remained resolute.

Nevin knows quality

Nevin stated he had admired Jorginho long before everyone jumped on the bandwagon, always recognising his quality where others overlooked it.

“Jorginho has been unbelievable,” said the ex-Blues winger, in response to Jorginho’s Euro 2020 exhibition.

“It’s an interesting thing. In the darkest days when Jorginho was getting stick when Sarri was manager, I wasn’t having it.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“I was trying to say, ‘wait a minute, this guys’ unbelievable, this guys’ running games, this guys’ controlling games.’

“I’ve always thought he was brilliant for what he does.

“Number of people are saying now, ‘he’s playing better now.’ No, he’s not; he’s playing exactly the same way he’s always played.

“Jorginho is impressing me now, but no more than he’s always impressed me. I’ve always liked him a lot.”

Photo by JOHN SIBLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A lot of people probably need to apologise to Nevin, let alone Jorginho, for being proved wrong.

It certainly helps to play within a successful side, like for Italy, where the whole world can witness your talents.

As appose to a group ridiculed like Sarri’s team was.

Jorginho is getting his just desserts, it’s just a shame it took so long for the sweetness to stick.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.