Mikel Arteta was thrilled to have finally completed the signing of Jorginho after several near misses, but the experienced Italy international was far from Arsenal’s first choice at the start of the January window.
The Premier League leaders were desperate for midfield reinforcements given the constant concerns over the durability of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny’s season ending knee injury.
Concerns, meanwhile, over the form of Albert Sambi Lokonga saw the Belgium international depart for Crystal Palace on loan on Tuesday, a deal that was sanctioned once Arsenal had got Jorginho over the line.
The Gunners switched their attentions to the 31-year-old after they were told in no uncertain terms by Brighton that Moises Caicedo was not for sale, despite the player having handed a transfer request last Friday night.
Even then, Jorginho was not the only name discussed by the Arsenal hierarchy with The Athletic. reporting that two other players came into consideration.
Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi was considered attainable given his £53million release clause but they player was minded to stay in Spain and see out a season which could yet end in glory for his boyhood club.
Arsenal also discussed the prospect of launching a bid for Edson Alvarez, the Ajax midfielder who went on strike at the end of the summer window in an attempt to force a move to Chelsea, but Arteta urged Arsenal to sign Jorginho instead.
The Gunners eventually agreed a £12million deal and the former Napoli star will be in contention to make his debut on Saturday lunchtime against Everton at Goodison Park.
‘Jorginho is a midfield player with intelligence, deep leadership skills and a huge amount of Premier League and international experience. Jorginho has won in his career, but he still has the hunger and huge willingness to contribute here,’ said Arteta following confirmation of the midfidler’s arrival.
‘We are so pleased to sign Jorginho and welcome him and his family to the club.’
Sporting Director added: ‘Jorginho is an established professional with a strong mentality who brings quality and experience into our squad.
‘He is a player who fits our style of play, and he joins us at a very good moment where he can contribute in a key position to help maintain our momentum. We welcome Jorginho to Arsenal.’
MORE : Chelsea legend John Terry slays Arsenal with response to Piers Morgan dig
MORE : ‘It was not easy’ – Sambi Lokonga speaks out on decision to leave Arsenal and join Crystal Palace on loan deal
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