New signing Jorginho says he was surprised to get a call from Arsenal so late in the transfer window but admits a move to Emirates Stadium has been a long time coming.
Manager Mikel Arteta’s admiration of the player dates back to his time as an assistant coach at Manchester City and he attempted to lure the Italy international away from Stamford Bridge in September 2020 before recruiting Thomas Partey.
While the 31-year-old wasn’t necessarily top of the shopping list coming into January – the Gunners tried hard for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo – the boss played up Jorginho’s leadership qualities when the deal was announced.
For his part, Jorginho is looking forward to a new challenge after five years in west London.
In his first interview with Arsenal.com, he said: “I’m very excited for this new challenge, and I just can’t wait to be on the pitch to be honest! Everything has happened so fast. I was a bit surprised, but I took the opportunity of this amazing challenge.
“It’s an important shirt. It’s an amazing club, a big one, and I’m really excited and happy to be here.
“I’ll try to just bring positive energy, hard work and my experience to help the team. It’s what I always bring with me.
“I try just to help with the experience I’ve had in my time with the other clubs and anything I can do just to help the team to achieve more and more, that’s my target. All I can promise is that I’m going to give my all to represent this club.”
On the role played by Arteta, he added: “He was a big influence because I know that he tried a few times to get me before and it didn’t happen due to other reasons, not because of my wishes. So of course, he had a big influence.”
Arsenal’s decision to spend £12 million on a veteran has been driven by a short term need to cover Mohamed Elneny who has undergone surgery on a knee injury.
In addition to losing the Egyptian for the majority of the rest of the season, the Gunners have also sanctioned a loan for Sambi Lokonga. His move to Crystal Palace is set to be confirmed imminently.