In 2019, Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi was keen to sign Jota from Benfica. In the summer of 2021, the Portuguese trickster finally got a move to British football when he signed on loan for Celtic.
The Hoops hold a clause to make the deal permanent should they wish to do so. It’s thought that he will cost £6.5 million should Ange Postecoglou wish to add him to the squad for the foreseeable.
Jota has taken to the Scottish Premiership with aplomb. He has found the net 10 times and registered eight assists during his maiden campaign north of the border.
Yesterday, he was in action once again and he didn’t disappoint. Although he failed to register a goal contribution during a 3-2 win over Dundee, it wasn’t through a lack of trying.
Some statistics from Who Scored highlighted his undoubted class. He registered five key passes – more than any other Celtic player and also completed three dribbles.
Jota also made a staggering 19 crosses, although they didn’t prove typically fruitful yesterday. Just six of those found a green and white shirt.
The 22-year-old has proved his worth and if Celtic can land him for £6.5 million it would represent a very sound piece of transfer business.
Regret: Forest missed out on Jota
Not landing Jota does look like a sizeable mistake by the Reds. Although there is no saying he’d have done it in the Championship, he certainly looks the part in the Scottish Premiership.
Yesterday, he was in fine form for Celtic and they’d be mad not to try and sign him on a permanent basis during the summer transfer window.
Forest have, of course, moved on and they do boast some impressive attackers of their own now.
With every solid performance that Jota has, however, there will continue to be an overriding feeling that Forest would have welcomed Jota in 2019.