Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has urged Frank Lampard to reassess how he uses “difference-maker” Jorginho in his system.

Jorginho has seen a resurgence this season having lost his spot in Lampard’s starting line-up when the Premier League resumed last season after lockdown.

The 28-year-old looked right at home alongside N’Golo Kante in the double-pivot midfield Lampard employed in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

And Zola believes Jorginho needs to play in the right role and system to thrive, implying Lampard may have given him too much “defensive responsibility”.

Chelsea Training And Press Conference

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He told Sky Sports: “With Jorginho, it depends on what type of football you want to play.

“If you want to play possession where you have the ball all the time and you play a lot of passes, there are not many as good as him around.


“If you ask Jorginho to cover 50 metres of the pitch in width and get all the balls back, it’s going to be difficult.”

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

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Zola, who also had Jorginho under his wing as Chelsea assistant manager in the 2018-19 season, argued that Jorginho needs protection from his teammate to reach his full potential in midfield.

“Jorginho is not a player that has a lot of physicality and mobility but he is very intelligent and is always in the right place,” Zola added.

“If you have someone who can help him, he can make a big difference. It’s just about getting the best out of him.”

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

In Lampard’s defence, however, it might be unrealistic to expect his deepest midfielder to be freed from defensive duties.

The fact Chelsea conceded the most goals from counter-attacks in the Premier League last season highlights how vulnerable the side has been with Jorginho being the last man in front of the defence most of the time.

Lampard’s new 4-2-3-1 system could be an attempt to solve that issue, along with the obvious plan to use Kai Havertz as a number 10.

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