As the “Three Musketeers” were four, Roberto Mancini’s Italy discovered with Locatelli a fourth engine in the middle, alongside the Barella-Jorginho-Verratti trio. Locatelli was a quasi-holder of the Sacred Nazionale at Wembley. He made us forget the absence of Verratti, injured, during the first matches and then perfectly supplemented him during the game, as soon as the Paris SG midfielder physically flinched.
Jorginho, nicknamed the “teacher” in the Nazionale, had greeted this alternation without a hitch: “When there is no Marco, there is Loca, who has similar characteristics. Both help me in the construction”. After such a Euro, it was difficult for Sassuolo to hold back his 23-year-old jewel, the number one priority of new Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. At the Bianconeri, the environment was a wasteland, without a clear system or essential player, after a season of experiments with Andrea Pirlo.
Allegri hopes to have found with Locatelli a player capable of stabilizing the team, as he had during his first stint at Juve with Miralem Pjanic. Aware of expectations and better equipped to face the pressure than when he made his debut in Milan five years ago, Locatelli is also gaining momentum. Sunday, he scored his first goal in bianconero against Sampdoria (3-2). Like him, Juve is gradually finding its marks, with its first two league victories, after its worst start in 60 years (two draws, two defeats).
But without Paulo Dybala or Alvaro Morata, injured, it remains fragile when it comes to welcoming Chelsea in the duel between the two favorites of Group H, both winners of their first C1 match. Chelsea, after the successes in the Champions League and the European Supercup, are still hungry for titles. And Jorginho, recently crowned UEFA player of the year, more. This match against Juve is necessarily important to strengthen his claim to the Golden Ball, which has not been won by an Italian since world champion Fabio Cannavaro in 2006. “2021 has been extraordinary. To be already considered a candidate. credibility at the Golden Ball makes me proud, “he said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.
This rich year is a great revenge for the native of Brazil, who arrived in Italy as a teenager and who for a long time seemed ill-equipped, despite his passing technique and his sense of placement, for the Premier League. “At first, it was said that I had no place in the club, but then I showed that I had the level to win here,” he told BT Sports on Saturday. “He’s a refined player and that’s why not everyone understands him. He makes everything look simple, that’s what makes him so good,” Maurizio Sarri said about him this summer. who had brought him with him to Chelsea, from Naples.
“Mau” had installed him in the heart of the Blues’ game, with mixed success, and under Frank Lampard, often in a mid-three, he didn’t seem to have the defensive volume to win either. With the arrival of Thomas Tuchel and the move to two central midfielders, Jorginho has become the metronome of a team that plays at high intensity. “Jogi is a very strategic player. He knows what to do when he has the ball, imagine what will happen with one or two passes in advance,” said Tuchel. A Locatelli to have so much imagination to try to muzzle Jorginho, before helping him next week to win a possible additional title with Italy, during the final four of the League of Nations.