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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Marc Mayo

Paul Merson explains why Arsenal’s shock £12m swoop for Jorginho is ‘outstanding’ value

Arsenal signing Jorginho for £12million will be an “outstanding” piece of transfer deadline day business, Paul Merson has claimed.

The Chelsea midfielder is expected to sign on the dotted line before the 11pm GMT deadline with the Gunners securing a cut-price deal ahead of his Blues contract expiring in the summer.

“Outstanding,” Merson told Sky Sports. “You’re buying experience, he’s won big trophies. He’s a proper holding midfield player.

“It was only two years ago he won the Champions League, Italy won the Euros - we were asking why England doesn’t produce these players. Two years on, Arsenal could be getting him.

“I know he’s two years older but he’s so intelligent. He’ll protect the back four and he just keeps it simple. He’ll be feeding [Martin] Odegaard, [Bukayo] Saka, [Gabriel] Martinelli... he’s a top signing.

“And he knows the game. He knows he won’t be playing every week, if everybody’s fit he won’t be playing. But he’ll bring that experience and calmness - he never panics on the ball. In this day and age of transfers, I’d call it a cup of tea at £12m.”

For Merson, Jorginho will offer a vital tactical plan B that could prove crucial in the title race run-in.

“You can’t keep playing at a 100mph tempo,” he added. “Sometimes you need to slow the game down, give people breathers and play the game at your pace.

“Sometimes you watch them play and if the score wasn’t up, you wouldn’t know what it was. They’d be going for it at 2-0 up like they were 1-0 down. You have to change the game up.”

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