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Jorginho finally teams up with Gabriel Martinelli after begging Arsenal ace to choose Italy over Brazil, as Chelsea midfielder seals Gunners transfer 1 hour ago

Jorginho has completed his move to Arsenal, where he will link-up with Gabriel Martinelli, who he once tried to convince to play for Italy.

Martinelli said it was always his ‘dream’ to play for Brazil, but that didn’t stop Jorginho from trying to get the youngster to make the same choice he did and represent the Azzurri instead.

Jorginho is the latest Chelsea player to swap west London for north London, following in the footsteps of David Luiz, Petr Cech, Willian and Olivier Giroud in recent years – although the full list of Premier League players to play for both clubs is actually quite long.

While it might not be the most exciting transfer – just ask talkSPORT host and devoted Gooner Laura Woods – it appears there’s some extra spice added to the deal for Jorginho as he finally teams up with a player he has admired for years.

Martinelli, who recently signed a new contract with the club, holds a dual citizenship thanks to his father’s Italian roots, but decided to play for the nation of his birth, Brazil.

Brazil-born Jorginho qualified for Italy thanks to a dual citizenship earned through his paternal great-grandfather, and chose the European nation.

Martinelli played for Brazil’s Under-23s and their Olympic football team – winning gold at Tokyo 2020 – but his senior duck took a long time, largely due to the world-class attackers in his way.

He finally made his senior debut in March 2022 and he now has six caps for his country, including three appearances at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It could have been much different, though, had he followed Jorginho’s advice.

For starters, he wouldn’t have gone to Qatar – because Italy didn’t qualify!

Asked whether anyone had tried to convince him to pull on an Azzurri shirt, Martinelli told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte in 2022: “No-one spoke to me, only Jorginho once said to me, ‘I hope to see you in March’, something like that.

“But no-one [official] spoke to me, no.

“As I’ve said before, my dream was always to play for Brazil. I was just waiting for the opportunity to play for Brazil.”

The pair may share a joke about that in training on Wednesday, with Jorginho making the switch to the Gunners on deadline day.

The 31-year-old has agreed an 18-month deal with Arsenal for a fee of £12million, with the Italy international and European Championship winner ending his five-year spell as a Blue.

He joins the Gunners after Mikel Arteta failed to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton, with the boss keen to recruit midfield cover for first-choice duo Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, with fears from fans that an injury to either player could seriously damage their Premier League title hopes.

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