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Jorginho can own a game from midfield, says Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard has praised Jorginho as a player who can “own a game from midfield” and an inspiration even in training as the Italy international seeks to demonstrate his worth in the new regime at Chelsea.

Jorginho, a £54m arrival from Napoli, had suffered as a result of his close connections to Maurizio Sarri and the head coach’s preferred style of play last term, and his performances regularly sparked derision from the club’s support. Yet his display in the victory at Norwich last week had the travelling fans chorusing his name for the first time, and Lampard has been impressed with his attitude and ability.

“He’s been a pleasure to work with,” said the head coach. “Fans are generally pretty honest. What they’re seeing is a player – I don’t want to talk about last year – who has a drive and determination as a team player. He also has quality. He can change a game, lead a game, own a game from midfield areas.

“I see day-to-day what playing for this club means. He’s just a fantastic sportsman who cares deeply. When you have a training session that might fall below standard, or drop even for a moment, he’s the one who drives it up again. When the fans see that on the pitch, as they did at Norwich, that’s why they sing his name. All I see now is a really good player who is a leader in the group.

“From watching Chelsea closely last year, I thought he finished the season brilliantly. If you’re going through a tough time with the fans, it is really easy to hide. But he never hid from receiving the ball on the edge of his own box or a tight area. That’s a sign of character: you need to believe in yourself, stand up and play. That’s what he does. When Jorginho goes on the pitch he wants to win and contribute.”

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N’Golo Kanté will miss Saturday’s visit of Sheffield United, and France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra, as he recovers from an ankle injury, with Lampard confident the break will ensure the midfielder returns reinvigorated after four years of constant football. “Sometimes it all comes on top and you get a couple of niggles, so you just have to clear the decks and get them right,” Lampard said. “It’s about showing him a little bit of TLC, about getting the ankle right and then starting afresh.”


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