Chelsea star given vote of confidence for Ballon d’Or
Lorenzo Insigne and Jorginho of Italy celebrate at the end of the international friendly match between Italy and Czech Republic at on June 04, 2021 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Lorenzo Insigne has said that Jorginho should be shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or after a ‘fantastic’ season at Chelsea.

The Napoli winger lauded his former teammate labelling him ‘a great player’ having reunited with the Blues midfielder for Italy at Euro 2020.

The pair started in each of Italy’s first two group stage fixtures which saw Roberto Mancini orchestrate impressive 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland.

Jorginho not only finished the season as Chelsea’s Premier League top goalscorer with seven goals, but he also played a pivotal role in the Blues’ fairytale UEFA Champions League triumph in Porto.

As a result, the 29-year-old earned the trust of Mancini and has been just one of three players to have started all three of Italy's Euro 2020 games.

‘I am proud to have him in our team’

Speaking ahead of Italy’s round of 16 bout with Austria, Insigne was asked whether ‘the professor’ should be in the running for the Ballon d’Or.

He responded: “You talked about Jorginho and it’s correct. He has spent some fantastic years at Chelsea and I am proud to have him in our team.”

“I’m not the one deciding if he deserves the Ballon d’Or, but I hope he’ll be shortlisted, he deserves it, he is a great player. 

“I call him the professor and we are all happy to play with him.”

The unappreciated one

Jorginho joined Chelsea three years ago in a deal worth £51 million from Napoli under the recommendation of new manager Maurizio Sarri, who had also just left Napoli.

Since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, the Italian midfielder has been disregarded by groups of fans. But, professionals in the sport continue to revel in Jorginho’s technical ability and encyclopedic reading of the game. 

From 2017/18 to 2019/20, Chelsea’s number six made more passes into the final third than any other player in the league for three successive seasons, between the Serie A and the Premier League respectively.

In the same time frame, Jorginho also made more progressive passes than any other player in the league in which he was playing in.

With such rich statistics in his favour, it is clear to see why Mancini has placed so much faith in the Chelsea midfielder. Especially in Italy's current system where he is partnered alongside two tenacious midfielders in Nicolo Barella and Manuel Locatelli.

His ability to control tight games and create chances from deep-lying position is another arrow in Italy’s bow, and an arrow that Thomas Tuchel can not afford to let go of.