Despite being born in the coastal town of Imbituba in the south of Brazil, Jorginho – full name Jorge Luiz Frello Filho – moved to Italy as a child and, with his ability spotted early, began his professional career with Verona. He spent a season on loan at lower-league Sambonifacese before returning to Verona and helping the then-Serie B club secure promotion to the top flight of Italian football.
It didn’t take long for the giants of Italy to circle – midway through his debut season in Serie A the then 22-year-old moved to Napoli. He was an Italian Cup winner in his first season – he played all 90 minutes in the final against Fiorentina, impressing after his midfield partner Gokhan Inler was sent off with 10 minutes remaining – but wasn’t always first choice under Rafael Benitez. He also had his penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon in an eventual shoot-out victory over Juventus in the Italian Super Cup later that year.
The arrival of the charismatic and well-travelled Maurizio Sarri in the summer of 2015 then meant Jorginho becoming an integral part of their midfield. The reverse triangle within Sarri’s preferred 4-3-3 formation enabled him to control the rhythm of play from deeper positions, with additional forward players in front of him, playing to his impressive range of short passing.
After Sarri’s subsequent move to Chelsea was confirmed, one of the manager’s first acts was to bring Jorginho – who had been strongly linked with joining Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – with him to west London for a fee of £50m.