Injury latest on Jota; Celtic boss gives timescale

By Euan Davidson

December 22, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has given a timescale on the return of sensational loanee Jota.

The Portuguese winger had been on fire this season, with 8 goals and 6 assists from just 18 games [Transfermarkt]. Jota’s numbers could’ve been even higher, too: he was averaging 1.6 key passes per 90 and 2.9 shots per game [WhoScored?].

Jota has, however, been part of Celtic’s ongoing injury woes. After pulling his hamstring against Hearts, his injury wasn’t supposed to be too bad.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

However, according to Ange Postecoglou, he’ll be out until after the winter break, provided the schedule isn’t changed.

Ange Postecoglou said of one of his star men [Daily Record]: “Jota’s injury was quite significant, so we don’t think we will see him back out there before the break.”

Mikey Johnston and, to an extent, Owen Moffat have come in to replace Jota in recent weeks. Johnston has started games in the Portuguese winger’s absence, putting on a spirited display in the successful League Cup Final.

However, there’s no doubt that Celtic miss the trickery and skill of Jota. Not only that, his attitude and energy have been sublime since joining the club in the summer. There will certainly be speculation and hope over the Hoops tying the winger down to a longer-term deal from Benfica.

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Jota remains out for Celtic

Along with Kyogo and Joe Hart, Jota has immediately become a fan favourite. From his debut against Ross County onwards, his step-overs and crossing have made him extremely popular. It’s not exclusive to Celtic fans, but we’ve always loved tricky wingers with end product.

Jota, then, had little choice but to take the applause from Bhoys supporters.

Johnston, while he does sometimes frustrate, should be the positive here. Given his own injury woes over the last few seasons, it is somewhat heartening to see him starting games and getting some regular game time under his belt, even given the circumstances.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

What’s more, seeing Owen Moffat (pictured above) grab his opportunity after an excellent spell with the B Team has been rewarding. There’s every chance he’ll be involved tonight, against a bereft St Mirren side.

It’s still a blow, though. But when we do get Jota back, he’ll be fresh and rested.

That’s a scary thought for anyone trying to mark him.

Read more: Report: The SPFL clubs backing the Celtic winter break plan; no surprises who’s not on list

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