Jorginho tried to convince Gabriel Martinelli to join the Italian National Team later this year, speaking after the London derby on Tuesday.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte claim Jorginho went to Martinelli after the draw between Chelsea and Arsenal and said to him: “We will be there in March, we are waiting for you there.”
The comment was a clear reference to the Italian national team, who play England and Germany in friendly matches in March.
Jorginho joked in his press conference afterwards: “He (Martinelli) is exploding, he deserves it, and I hope he can help the Italian team a lot.”
To be fair, Jorginho knows all about the decision Martinelli has to make. The Chelsea midfielder grew up in Brazil, living there until the age of 15, when he moved to Italy. He then got an Italian passport through his grandfather and chose to play for Italy.
Similarly, Martinelli grew up in Brazil, but his father is Italian. He has the same choice in front of him: Play for the country of his birth or his paternal ancestry.
Football.London claim Martinelli turned down a call for the Italy u19s in September, citing club commitments. A good thing too, as he stuck with the Arsenal squad and eventually got his two-goal debut against Nottingham Forest.
The teenager says he isn’t rushing to a decision yet though. He dreams of playing for Brazil, but could still play for Italy. He’s waiting on the call to feature for either at senior level.