Former Celtic hero explains why he believes Jota is continuing to thrive at the Hoops
Former Celtic defender Jackie McNamara has explained why he believes Jota is continuing to thrive as a permanent Hoops player.
The 23-year-old spent last season on loan at Parkhead, joining from Portuguese side Benfica on transfer deadline day in September.
Jota quickly went on to become a fan’s favourite, producing fantastic performances every week and helping the Hoops on their way to the Scottish Premiership title.
Having included an option to buy agreement in the original loan deal, supporters called for the club to sign the winger on a permanent basis.
At the beginning of July, the Bhoys confirmed the signing of Jota for a fee believed to be in the region of £6 million on a long-term deal.
That price already looks to be an absolute steal by the club, with Jota starting off the 2022/23 season in superb form, scoring two goals and picking up three assists.
Former Celtic captain Jackie McNamara believes that signing a permanent deal at Parkhead is what has helped Jota make an incredible start to the campaign, with his future now being secured at Celtic after leaving his boyhood club.
He said [Sky Sports]: “I said a few weeks ago, I think this will be a big season for Jota. You know, last year he was on loan, now he’s a permanent Celtic player, and sometimes your second season can be the hardest.
“But, I think the way he’s started the season with the goals that he has scored so far, he is looking exciting.
“I think he does (enjoy being the talismanic figure). As I said, he’s not on loan now either sometimes, when players come in on loan, it’s a bit different because they maybe don’t feel as part of it as the permanent players.
“So, I think that he is settled now, and you can see that in his game; his confidence and how well he is playing.”
Jota will only continue to get better with Ange Postecoglou challenging the winger to improve.
Jota kick-started the season on fine form, scoring a stunner during the Bhoys opening day victory over Aberdeen.
Despite putting in a man of the match display, his manager, Ange Postecoglou, still wasn’t fully satisfied by what the winger had produced that afternoon.
The 56-year-old continues to challenge his players to improve every single day, and Jota has stood up to that challenge producing four goal contributions in the two games since the 31st of July.
Working under Postecoglou and having his future secured to Celtic this season will only help the Portuguese youth internationalist take his game to the next level.
That is a frightening prospect for the rest of the teams in this country, with the Celtic winger making a brilliant start to the new campaign and maintaining his status as one of the best players in this country.