Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has hit out at fans of the club who jeered midfielder Jorginho during the club’s 3-0 Europa League win over Malmo on Thursday. The Blues are through to the last 16 of Europe’s second-tier club competition after winning the tie 5-1 on aggregate.

Jorginho did not start the game but many fans jeered him when his name was announced as being among the substitutes. He was also booed when he came onto the field with 15 minutes remaining in the game. The Brazilian born Italian international arrived at Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window in a £57 million deal from Napoli which also happens to be the former club of Sarri.

The manager and player previously worked well in the Serie A and the 27-year-old is reported to be one of Sarri’s favourites. Sarri took a controversial decision this season to deploy Jorginho in the holding midfield role. Many pundits and fans do not agree with this as N’Golo Kante is regarded as arguably one of the best holding midfielders in the world.

Kante has previously performed in the role to near perfection, helping Leicester City and Chelsea to win League titles as well as helping France to win the 2018 World Cup. He has however been rather underwhelming during his first season in England and so far scored one goal from 25 top-flight appearances.

The decision of Sarri to deploy Jorginho in Kante’s natural position is attracting strong criticism towards Sarri, particularly as the Blues are not in good form at the moment.

As reported by Reuters, Sarri defended his player, saying: “I think that in the first 30 minutes we understood why Jorginho is very important for our team,”

“With Jorginho, it is easier, I think. I would hope that our fans would be able to understand that Jorginho for us is really a very important player.”

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