Jorginho already looks the part as Chelsea’s new midfield centrepiece.
It is a role that he made his own at Napoli under Maurizio Sarri and will now continue to hold his manager’s tactical vision together out on the pitch.
A prolific passer of the ball who reads the game well, it is his job to screen the back four with his positioning and recycle possession to the attacking players as quickly as he can.
Fans of the Blues have already seen signs of what he can do. His slick, searching deliveries from deep to find runners down the flanks are set to be a key feature of his game at Stamford Bridge.
However, his impact has already led some onlookers to fear for what could become of N’Golo Kante.
Over the past three years, the Frenchman has emerged from relative obscurity to win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the World Cup.
It all began with Leicester City. His role for the Foxes was perhaps best described by the club’s former head of recruitment, Steve Walsh.
“We play with Danny Drinkwater in the middle and Kante either side,” he joked after watching his signings beat the top six to top the table in 2016. Even he was only being half-serious, he wasn’t wrong.
Kante topped the rankings for tackles won and interceptions made. He did the work of two players, allowing Leicester to go toe-to-toe with opponents without the risk of being overrun.
At Chelsea, he continued to dominate the centre of field for Antonio Conte, while also adding more to his game too. Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic were selected depending on the game. Kante was the constant.
He set the tone for the Blues and their hard-working, fast-breaking 3-4-2-1 formation in the heart of midfield, just as he had for front-wheel drive Leicester side that was built to feed Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Due to his influence as a relentless source of energy and security in the middle third of the pitch, he was soon soon compared to Claude Makelele, Roy Keane and other famous players who provided a safety net for their more adventurous colleagues in eras gone by.
It is commonplace to praise the Frenchman as the world’s best defensive midfielder, which makes some sense given the work he puts into keeping his team out of trouble, but there’s more than one way of playing that role.
Jorginho is not a competitor to Kante. There is no reason why they cannot play together. In fact, Sarri’s time at Napoli offers some big hints at how their relationship may become fundamental to how the Blues play.
Allan was the player charged with adding more legs and dynamism to the Italian’s side in Naples. While Jorginho sat deep as a back stop to catch stray balls and send them forward again, his Brazil-born colleague knitted everything together as a more box-to-box presence. Marek Hamsik was the attacking fulcrum.
Kante is even more suited to the position that Allan filled for Napoli. He is too mobile to stay in one place and hold the line. At Leicester and now Chelsea, he has done his best work when he has been able to put in hard yards and cover every gap for his team as it appears.
It was Drinkwater who played slightly deeper for the Foxes as the ball-player as the Frenchman provided the labour of two players. He did a similar job when partnered with Fabregas. Alongside the less mobile Matic, it was still up to Kante to keep the intensity levels up.
That’s why there is unlikely to be any conflict or concern at Stamford Bridge over what Sarri has planned for the 2017 player of the season. Chelsea are set to follow the blueprint that turned Napoli into Serie A contenders. Jorginho has already arrived.
They don’t need to sign Allan or another alternative to replicate the part he played in that team because they already have the perfect player: N’Golo Kante.
With Jorginho keeping things ticking over in front of the back four, it will be on the Frenchman to win the ball and give his team some real traction between the two boxes, to feed the attacking midfielder and forwards, just as Allan did for Sarri at Napoli.