Celtic deserve "so much credit" for Jota progression says former Benfica and Monaco man
Jota’s former Benfica youth coach Benfica has outlined the Celtic star’s ‘unlimited talent’, and his belief that there’s still more to come from the Portuguese star.
Joao Tralhao was Jota’s coach at U-19 level at Benfica, and the 41-year-old believes that the winger has everything needed both and off the pitch to reach the very top of the game.
As reported by The Daily Record, he said: “I really know Jota well as I coached him for three complete seasons. I know him well both as a person and as a player. As a person he has an amazing character. He’s very clever, he has a football intelligence and is very focused. He’s very focused and knows his goals, that focus was clear from the first moment I saw him. He wanted to reach the first team level as soon as possible.
“It’s not easy to find a young player with focus, intelligence and a willingness to be a hard worker. To find such a talented player with all of those qualities is rare but he’s always had a massive working capacity. He has used all of those factors to become one of the best players in the Scottish league and you have seen that already this season.
“Jota’s talent is unlimited. He can play on the right and on the left and can do everything with both feet. He can cross, he can create and he can dribble, he can shoot and he can score goals, that’s the complete player.”
The former Monaco assistant coach also singled out Jota’s mentality as key to his progress at Celtic, something that his ex-coach knew the winger had in spades long before his move to Scotland.
He continued: “I’ve worked with very talented young players but some of them lack an intensity or mentality but Jota has both. He’s shown he has the intensity to play in Scotland and not every player arrives from a different country being able to do that.
“He’s desperate to succeed and I have no doubt he’ll again show himself to be one of the most exciting players in the league and in Europe this season.”
Tralhao also praised Celtic for giving Jota the proper environment and platform to succeed, as the transition from Portugal to the UK can be a tough one for players to adapt to.
He said: “You need to have the right mental structure and emotional structure to move abroad and adapt. First it’s about adapting to the country, second to the city, then to the club and next to your team-mates and then it’s about adapting to a different style of coaching. To do that you need to have the capacity to adapt well and Jota has always had that capacity as he’s a very adaptable player.
“In terms of emotional structure, Jota is very close to his family. That has helped him as he’s very emotionally controlled and in the right place to achieve his goals. Celtic as a club deserve so much credit for creating the perfect environment for him.”
With a goal and three assists already to his name in just two league games, Jota has made a serious statement of intent early on in the season.
With September looking to be a massive month in Celtic’s campaign with a derby, as well as the return of the Champions League, the winger’s fast start has ensured that the Scottish champions are in a good place before the fixture list begins to ramp up.
He’ll hope to carry his electric form into Celtic’s next game at Rugby Park on Sunday, as the Hoops will look to maintain their spot at the top of the Scottish Premiership with victory over Kilmarnock.