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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at BVB Stadion Dortmund

Now it's the turn of Arsenal's Jorginho to dream of more Euro glory

Italy v Albania Picture by Yann Tear

By Yann Tear at BVB Stadion Dortmund

In many ways, the jury is still out at the Emirates when it comes to one of the latest players to make the short trip from Stamford Bridge.

He is a player of undoubted quality who has got medals for club and country and there really ought not to be any kind of debate about his value. And yet....

Jorginho's first steps after switching Chelsea blue for Arsenal red were faltering. It was his mistake that gifted Spurs a draw in last season's derby on home soil and while fellow Bridge defector Kai Havertz has established something akin to cult status among home fans Jorginho has yet to attain the same level of acceptance.

Arsenal fans are right to feel wary of those heading across the Thames from west London down the years. William Gallas, David Luiz, Willian...even Petr Cech. None of them looked as good as when they appeared for Chelsea. Few of them even looked as if they cared that much.

But on day two of Euro 2024 in Dortmund, Jorginho reminded everyone of that understated dependability which Arsenal called upon perhaps only fleetingly last season. A good man to have on the bench at club level, he seems more wanted by Italy - with whom he lifted the last Euros after victory over England at Wembley on penalties.

National team boss Luciano Spalletti trusts him. He likes him alongside the chief playmaker, Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella - the man whose thundering strike saw off an Albanian side who had stunned the cup holders with a goal after on 23 seconds from Nedim Bajrami - the fastest in Euro history.

Jorginho was unfussy and unruffled as Italy quickly recovered to take a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. Alessandro Bastoni's far post header soon cancelled out the mistake made by fellow Inter defender Federico Dimarco which had so briefly raised thoughts of a major upset.

Their defence of the title is up and running and the Arsenal bit-part player has his eyes on more glory with the national side.

The 32-year-old has every reason to feel fresh as a daisy. Many of his 38 appearances for the Gunners last season were as a sub.

And this is a man steeped in experience as a Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup winner as well as being a Euro champion with Italy. He gave us a few reminders of that impressive CV once more on Saturday night.

He certainly caught the eye more than another ex-Chelsea man on show. Armando Broja has endured a horrible campaign as he struggles to make his way back after an ACL injury.

The striker barely featured while on loan at Fulham this season and barely featured here as the Albanians struggled against those imposing Italian defenders - apart from that opening minute of course.


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