Jota not in Ange Postecoglou’s immediate sights ahead of January window

Former Celtic winger Jota is not a player that is in Ange Postecoglou’s immediate sight ahead of the January transfer window opening

The former Hoops wide-man who was adored by millions decided to cut his stay in Scottish football short and head to the footballing backwater that is the Saudi Pro League. It was a move that shocked everyone at the time and many questioned if it was a wise career move for the former Benfica man.

The Portuguese winger was an instant hit in the hoops and he was electric in his two years in Glasgow’s East End. With things having not panned out as he would have hoped in the Middle East, many have hoped that the trickster might be one that could be a possible name on Brendan Rodgers’ hit-list for the next transfer window. The Celtic manager was even asked the question directly at the club’s recent AGM to which he jokingly replied: “I’ll have to ask Michael” – in reference to CEO Michael Nicholson.

However, the prevailing attitude has been that his former boss, Ange Postecoglou, who is now tearing up the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, would be a likely destination this winter time should the player be seeking an escape route from his Saudi Arabian nightmare.

Well, there has been cold water poured on that idea now by a prominent Spurs podcast, Gold and Guest Talk. Main pundit, Alisdair Gold revealed that on paper it makes sense the link, but that he isn’t one that Ange will chase when the window opens.

He said: “Jota makes sense for me, but I did find it interesting when speaking to people in and around Celtic when Postecoglou came I asked which players should he bring with him and Jota wasn’t on their list. I don’t know if that was a feeling that he couldn’t make it in the Premier League. He scored a lot of goals and got a lot of assists in the Scottish Premiership. Whether there was any doubts over that, he’s gone to the Saudi Pro League under Nuno back then before he got the bullet. He’s found himself out of the team, you’re only allowed to register eight players and he wasn’t registered.

“He’s gone there for £25million from Celtic, played the first few games and now he can only play in Asian Champions League games and cups and things like that. On paper, it makes perfect sense because he’s someone that knows Postecoglou’s way inside and out, he’s got great energy and can press high up the pitch. He knows where the goal is, if they can get a loan deal. Surely, if they’re (Ittihad) not going to play him it makes very little sense for him to remain there anyway. If you could do a deal until the rest of the season with an option (to buy), then surely that makes sense if Postecoglou thinks he can make the step up to the Premier League.”

With Tottenham now facing somewhat of a midfield crisis in the central areas, with James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur currently out injured, and Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma away to the African Cup of Nations, Ange’s attention may well be on other things. That would certainly make it easier if Celtic were to make an audacious move to bring our former start back home to Paradise. It’s still a long shot though.

Paul Gillespie


About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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