UEFA award proves why Chelsea were right to stick with Jorginho over Rice

Stefan Bienkowski
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho was named UEFA Men’s best player of the year on Thursday evening, beating teammate N’Golo Kante and Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne to the award.

The 29-year-old talent has had a remarkable 12 months, having won the Champions League with the Premier League giants only to then play a pivotal role in Italy winning Euro 2020 a few months later.

As such, the Chelsea star was deemed the most impressive men’s player in European football and was presented with the award.

“I have no words to describe this moment,” Jorginho said on the Chelsea website after the news was official. “It happened because of everyone and not just me, so it means a lot.

“I just want to say thank you to all those people who have helped along the way, and even to those who didn’t believe in me because they motivated me to work even harder.

“It’s a great feeling, I’m really happy and I just want to say thank you to everyone.”

Indeed, as Jorginho called out his critics and thanked his team mates, it wouldn’t have been lost on many fans of the Stamford Bridge side that the Italian was far from a pivotal player for Chelsea.

And, with rumours about a potential move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice gaining momentum, some Chelsea fans would have happily traded in the midfielder for his English counterpart.

Chelsea don’t need Rice

Whether the stories of Chelsea’s interest in Rice were ever true, Joginho was clearly aware of the potential threat to his standing in the team and has risen to the occasion perfectly.

Alongside Kante and Mateo Kovacic, the trio have forged one of Europe’s most rigid midfield structures and one that undoubtedly played a pivotal role in Thomas Tuchel’s side winning the Champions League.

At 29 years of age, Jorginho may only have one or two seasons left at the top of the game, but for now there’s no doubt that Chelsea have no need for an expensive No.8 or ball-winning midfielder.

In Jorginho the London club already have one of the best midfielders in the world. And UEFA’s award only goes to prove it.